Prada Spring-Summer 2013 RTW

“Japanese . . . and the Sixties,” said Miuccia Prada backstage at her collection, which melded the naïf daisies so beloved of the youthquake modernist Courrèges with the cherry blossoms woven into a kimono’s silken folds. 

The show opened on a somber note, with mini- or midi-length dresses (or tunics layered over clamdigger pants, or even knitted rompers) in shadowy blacks, inky blue, and bottle green, in boxy, rectangular shapes, deliberately cut to subvert the conventional norms of fit—bust darts that don’t quite curve the body as they are generally intended, skirt volumes that are a tad clunky and off-kilter. Even the poppy red lip and the messily teased French pleats threw off any costume-literal revisiting of the 1960s look.

The second part of the collection, meanwhile, melted into duchess satin pieces in pretty sugar-almond shades of spring-bud green and blush pink.

For Miuccia, this dichotomy represented “the struggles women have between toughness and softness, the rigor followed by delicacy, and the poetic part of women.” But even those dark opening pieces were touched with lightness—a digital print of a partly blown-away dandelion clock on an oversize appliqué patch, for instance, or a sprig of Far Eastern blooms, or those sweet Courrèges daisy shapes carved out of astrakhan or sewn on as though by earnest ladies at a quilting bee—reflecting the charming handicraft spirit of the season. More tiny little buds and blooms garlanded a single bangle, dotted the top bar of cartoonish eyeglasses, and trimmed the straps and clasps of the tidy little purses in playfully conventional, old-fashioned shapes.

The stiff, little late sixties clothes hanging in Miuccia’s personal wardrobe have been a mine of inspiration for her many times before, but its always intriguing to see how she will reinterpret them, and layer the basic shapes or ideas with a totally new concept.

The Japanese influence—“tough rigor, the delicacy after, and the folding”—was certainly a novel tweak. Satin evening jackets were shrugged off the shoulders like an artfully draped kimono, and lengths of fabric were manipulated into folds that recalled the elaborate configuration of a kimono’s obi sash to create very short skirts that revealed an entire length of leg with a stride.

If the purses wouldn’t have been out of place in the Duchess of Windsor’s closet, the shoes were fashioned for a geisha; flats that were essentially kid-leather ankle socks with a bifurcation to separate the big toe were slipped through a dainty harness of pastel satin—or stacked on a high platform like an Edo courtesan’s chopine. Miuccia added playfully that she liked the idea of “walking on a flat—even if it’s high!”

Perhaps not the radical season-changer that Miuccia so often serves us, then, but a quiet, thoughtful take on the house codes and the designer’s delightfully wonky vision.

via: style
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