Miuccia Prada, as everyone knows, is contrary by nature. She likes things she doesn't like. For example, after this week's Miu Miu men's show, she was saying how much she always hated suede but how this season she loved it. Which was most certainly the truth.
Suede dominated the collection, in mitteleuropa shades like tan, dark brown, and the deepest blue-green. The echoes of Prada's highly influential bourgeois-lady collections of last year were absolutely deliberate. There was an unorthodox feminine thread running through the styling, which was most obvious in the way everythingfrom a purple duffel coat to a stolid tweed suitwas belted. Some of those belts were chain, recalling Chanel (even though they were actually dog leads), and there were also chain handles on the suede satchels that a few of the models carried. Shirts printed with patchwork designs, meanwhile, were reminiscent either of a collage of silk ties or of the blouses you might see on Viennese hausfraus.
Odd though it may sound, there was a richness and texture throughout that matched the projected backdrop of kaleidoscopic images generated by a complex digital collaboration between Prada and architect Rem Koolhaas's think tank, AMO. Equally appropriate was the soundtrack, which used songs from an old Brian Eno album called Before and After Science. What came through in this collection was Miuccia's understanding that, before and after science, there is emotion.