From Milan: Prada Unpacks Personal Style

Miuccia Prada knew before any other designer that fashion was going to enter a post-trend era. One where personal style reigned and emotional resonance replaced the mind-numbing action of being told what to do, or to wear. This way, when the consumer was to invest in the clothes that would define her wardrobe, they wouldn’t be pegged to a box into which she is neatly supposed to fit with a shelf life akin to that of organic produce.

Trendless clothes from the school of personal style would provide breathing room, a recyclable world of opportunity beyond the season at hand that could be interpreted more than one way. That could say more than one thing. That could transcend the bounds of taste and start to feel more like second skin.

This was extremely evident at Miu Miu last season — the proof is in the raccoon earrings! — and has been an undercurrent supporting the evolution of Miuccia Prada’s main collection since the feminist show of Spring 2013.

What was presented in Milan earlier today was an eye feast for certain from a creative genius, no question.

Shall we count the flights of fancy? There were exposed lace up corsets shown over jackets, half tied half not (because it’s your body, dammit, constrict it how you please), and sailor hats (bucket hats?) that almost took attention from the coin purses worn as chokers or attached to waist belts where corsets did not apply. There were messenger bags and grey wool tights — some decorated by argyle, others by black and red diamonds. And this was just the tip of the Miuccia-berg. The skirts, the prints, the fabrics, the themes, the sunglasses! — what are we to make of it?

And what happens when we pull it apart?

Are we left with a collection of clothes we feel as though we’ve got to have (whether by way of literal consumption or simply subscription — a sort of money-free social proprietorship)? Is that the problem in a post-trend reality where the style cues are vast, but not as easy to follow?

Are they supposed to feel easy to follow?

Sometimes I wonder if we’ve conditioned ourselves to hold designers who we respect up on pedestals that don’t allow for them to simply produce what’s in their hearts. Do we expect too much of them because we feel like we’re supposed to be flabbergasted over and over again? If we feel the flabbergast, is that the sign of a strong collection, or is it simply medication that narcotizes that pit of nothingness? If we don’t, are we disappointed because — though we know it’s not necessarily good for us — we haven’t experienced the drug’s high?

Photographs via Vogue Runway; feature collage by Emily Zirimis.


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  • Jess Harkins

    I’ve always loved Prada for this very reason. Both Prada and Miu Miu dance to their own beat. You do the same Leandra! On a side note, I read about not buying more cullotes this morning before I dressed and am now wearing blush pink cullotes. But with red satin ballet flats. Am I doing it right? Of course, I’m doing whatever I bloody well please x

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  • Miccia is my fave designer. She makes what she likes not what the crowd like. I’m 21 years old and if I ask my friends “do you like Prada or Miu Miu?” they would say NO. Miuccia is not for everybody.


  • Living Paula Blog

    These looks are awesome. Love Prada.


  • Adardame

    Suddenly I need leggings with diamonds!

  • Bee

    I need the Harley Quinn-esque leggings in the first photo.


  • When I viewed this collection yesterday via Vogue Runway, I felt at home. I guess this is because it is often easy, as a curious female, to find yourself in Miuccia’s clothes. They’re just as full with feelings as they are references. But this season I think that feeling came in the oddities her woman was carrying this season. She — quite literally with mini-suitcases ’round the neck and montages of landscapes and deserts with red rock and purple cacti on coats and dresses — carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

    She managed to aestheticize the complexity of that sentiment and produce damn good clothes — but not without making us question: Where are we going? Who are we? What is like to be emotionally-imbued with all the places we’ve been?

    I, for one, cry at a mere image of the vastness of the Grand Canyon. It has a hold on me. So all of the above is just my reading of the collection, but I can’t help but think these clothes are an exercise in the tension of intimacy and remoteness in recalling where we’ve planted our various seeds.

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