Thank you, Miuccia Prada, for reminding us about sex. Tight skirts that show a woman's shape, high crocodile boots, see-through macs, and models that are the antithesis of innocent waifs. All these factored into a collection that sent the fashion world spinning away from its current fixation with hippie peasant clichés.
In a show that was densely layered with references to the history of fashion, Prada cut a strong, curvaceous and erotically charged line to give grown-ups a whole new reason to buy. From the moment Eva Herzigova appeared, silhouetted in a black nylon bomber jacket with fur sleeves and a black, wickedly seamed skirt, it was obvious Prada had her sights set on a new kind of adult sophistication. High-waisted tweed skirts, bomber jackets cut to show the waist, and blouses with stiff puffed sleeves signaled her belief in the power of a new, hard chic. Revisiting structured tailoringwhich is where she began in the '90swas only one of her ideas. She also worked in duchesse satin, gathered at the neckline to emphasize breasts, Monroe-esque silk sunray pleats, and '30s showgirl lingerie playsuits. Great oversized rubberized raincoats with inside-out seams and a black satin jockey cardigan with knit sleeves also stood out from what was a vast inventory of must-have items.
Prada referenced many of her own past collections, from her bourgeois ladylike phase to her militaristic moments and her love of vintage lingerie. But her achievement was in making something inspiringly new out of confronting a personal taboo. "I was fed up with people saying I can't do sexy clothes!" she stated backstage. It was said with a laugh, but the designer has done nothing less than change the fashion agenda overnight.