If I name-dropped Prada what would you visualize in your head? Is it bland, mom-style purses in beige? Nylon backpacks with triangular logo patches, perhaps? Whatever it may be, it’s unfortunately not very exciting. That’s really too bad though because Miuccia Prada designs some of the most intelligent, man-repelling, quirky clothes every season (that I am not ~fabulous~ enough to wear, but someone else could pull off impeccably). So do away with that silly stigma you have about Prada’s work and here’s an ode to her genius.
Header image: thetimes.co.uk/saksfifthavenue.com/salvospagna.com
Shoes Only The Internet Understands
There are so many delightfully ugly shoes that have sauntered across the Prada catwalk over the years that it’s almost impossible to choose a few to highlight. Some standouts include heels inspired by 50’s cars, boots made to look like Mary Janes, and those crystal-adorned, clear PVC sandals that brought both crystal embellishments and acrylic accessories back into the fashion crowd’s closets.
Prints That Are Pretty Much Art
Always memorable, weirdly off-beat, and quirkier than most people are able to swallow, every single print Prada shows is dutifully followed and copied by lower-end brands. Remember when Miu Miu (Prada’s little sister brand) showed those kitten prints in 2010? And what about those bright stripes and bananas from Prada SS11? Huge blossoms from 2012? .
Lookbooks As Cool As Your Sketchbook
Lookbooks are generally an uninteresting series of photos, shot to simply showcase all the pieces in a collection. Enter the Prada Fantasy Lookbook. They generally feature models and clothes offset into a surreal, collaged landscape. These images give us more insight into the inspiration behind the collections and, let’s be honest, they are just so cool. Two of my favourites include SS10 and FW08 – pure eye-candy.
Models that defined a new look
Prada has taken chances on new models, thrusting them into the international spotlight and starting their lucrative careers. In 2004, Prada casted Gemma Ward (and eventually Sasha Pivovarova as well) – starting an obsession with models with baby doll features. Other models brought out of obscurity include tough-girl Daria Werbowy and Lindsey Wixon (initiating a trend of models with bee-stung lips and gap-tooths).
The Contradictions And Questions
Source: Fashion Gone Rogue/metmuseum.org
Sure, sometimes clothes are just clothes, but Prada constantly asks questions with her collections that shed light on how we see clothes in relation to the world around us. She does this by juxtaposing themes and aesthetics in collections – resulting in original looks every season. A few shows worth a second glance include: the geisha-inspired SS13 (that played with the idea of nostalgia with a modern twist), and the 50’s inspired SS12 (where Prada asks: do traditionally feminine clothes have a place in our wardrobes these days?).
If you’re intrigued to read more about Prada’s ~genius, a good book to pick up is Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations.