MILAN - Miuccia Prada, one of the fashion world's most out-of-the-box thinkers, for next summer takes apart the kimono to discover its most basic silhouette. Then, she puts it all back together again to come up with a full collection of imperial outfits.
The central motif of the new collection previewed Thursday during Milan Fashion Week is a graphic flower, often with a bright red centre, which appeared on bags, tops, dresses, wraps and eyewear.
Prada has reinterpreted the Japanese Geisha sandal complete with split-toe tabi sock, which she crafted from leather with a zipper up the back, suggesting they could be footwear in their own right.
The impact of the entire collection was otherworldly, a reflection of Prada's reach for conceptual fashion where idea trumps fit. The kimono showed up as a wrap, a top tied neatly in the back, a skirt formed out of panels or just a simple tunic dress. Fabrics were shiny silk and satin.
Shoes were over the top, wedge and platform sandals, always worn with the tabi sock at times in contrasting gold and silver. The latest Prada palate includes soft pink and sage but the basic colour scheme stuck to black, white and grey — all the better to show off the flower emblem and highlight red accents.
The collection was decidedly warm weather, but Prada also devised wraps and three-quarter sleeved coats, often of fur, for chillier climes. Here too, the flower motif made the difference. The basic bag was a small summer shopper — more for the boutique than market.
Prada once again has transformed her fashion theatre, this time breaking up the distressed white arches with stark black columns to better set off her conceptual creations. Models' hair was teased and they wore bright red lipstick to match the flaming red of the flowers.