Miuccia Prada, unlike most fashion designers, says she is happy when the high street copies her clothes. For Prada, fashion is about turning the ideas in her head, ideas about herself, about women, about the world- into clothes. Clothes that will be seen everywhere from magazines and red carpets, to the streets, knock-off's or not.
The idea behind her Fall/Winter 2011 Prada collection, the designer said backstage in an interview after the show, was "not a girl dressed like a lady, but a lady rediscovering her innocence." After last season's brightly coloured, wacky collection, it was a return to what Prada excels at: taking apart clothes we think we understand, and putting them back together in a way that is slightly unsettling, weird and just plain tacky. No one does tacky as well as Prada.
That being said, these were some of her weirdest, tackiest and most gorgeous pieces yet. The silhouette- a drop-waisted, big-buttoned coat dress to mid-thigh, with a knee-high boot- seemed to signal a kind of innocent, ladylike competence. Indeed, there was a whiff of the 50's via the flapper-like scaly-fringe dresses, and 60's suburban prim-ness à la First Lady Jackie Kennedy and London-esque mod shapes.
Coat-dresses came in powdery colors, sheer solids or windowpane checks, decorated with contrast piping, shag fur or jingling silver-dollar-sized paillettes.
The whole thing reminded me of a little girl running amok in her mother's wardrobe, pairing odd elements together, but still looking as cute and precious as ever; indeed, the collection smacked of that same very kind of innocence.