Miuccia Prada channeled a vibrant Latin American spirit in her latest collection at Milan Fashion Week, marking a radical departure from her previous shows.
Bold stripes, rumba-style flounces, tropical parrot colours and exotic prints featuring monkeys, flowers, turbanned dancers, and bananas gave the show the atmosphere of a carnival.
Designer, Miuccia Prada, the woman who once made black nylon chic, even took her bow wearing a pair of “banana” earrings.
The show was a radical departure from previous Prada collections which have often explored the “spirit of modern woman”, or sexuality in curious and oblique ways.
These clothes were wearable, escapist, sexy and fun; constructed, for the most part, in a heavyweight, practical Japanese cotton. Swing-back shirts and jackets, with loose sleeves, in hi-vis orange, grass green and cobalt-blue, had the ease of sailing jackets, especially when accessorised with thick, striped, rubber-soled sneaker-style shoes. They were given urban sophistication when paired with pencil skirts, or fitted skirts with a samba-flounce. A baroque cherub print, mixed with stripes in orange/black, or green/black, typified the culture of exotic religious festivals.
Models in embroidered, fringed sun-dresses, swinging striped fox furs, with their hair in a 1930s slick-back, had the nostalgic nonchalance of a Jean Harlow on a weekend away in Havana.
Ms Prada said she had started off by thinking of plain, possibly black dresses – these were visible in the finale parade of classic LBDs – but all the fun of the fiesta obviously carried her away.