- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
Prada is one of the few brands who brings context to the ugly-chic aesthetic, and its spring summer 2017 runway collection was no different. If this collection was to be summed up in one item, it would have to be the blouse: it came seventies-style with exaggerated collars, in contrast florals, checks, ginghams, solids, stripes and sheers, proposed in hues of brown, purple, cream and orange. Difficult colours you may say, but when paired with bandeau tops in contrast fabric and colour, or worn with brown fitted high-neck long-sleeves poking from underneath, it felt neither outré or impossible.
There was no undertone of sex
There was no flesh on display, other than legs in short shorts. No cleavage, no hint of the boudoir, no bare shoulders peeking from garments undone, unless it was something layered and styled off-tilt. In fact, there was no sex in this show, not even an erotic undertone if you were to search for the meaning of one. Instead the clothes make the statement this season, from the brightly coloured plastic sandals to the ostrich feather trim that adorned dresses, accessories, Asian inspired jacket hems and the cuffs of bejewelled trousers.
Colour galore, but less contrived styling
Retro graphics and checks mixed with pop florals formed a kaleidoscope of print, but were polar opposite to Gucci’s bright and saccharine pairings. Prada this season opted for less contrived styling - no socks in sandals, for example - and the accoutrements were limited to accessories, with new bag styles and colour chromatic belts and badges, the latter pinned at overlaps and closures on jackets and skirts. Oddly the looks seemed a far cry from Prada's men’s SS17 show in June, with its wanderlust theme, models trekking down the runway in backpacks, wearing copious layers of nylon, zip-ups, sportswear and primary colour clashes.
Prada, as has been well documented, discussed and dissected, could do with a seismic shift with this collection. Both its sales and image have seen its tectonic plates stagnate, even if designer Miuccia Prada offers a continuing source of intelligent fashion to the industry at large. Stellar shows and intellectual themes do not, apparently, guarantee profit to fashion businesses, no matter if the brand is steeped in history and a ruling force of the Milanese runway. How well the collection is received at retail will remain to be seen.
Photo credit: Prada SS17, Prada.com