The visual cues for Miuccia Prada's fall collection were the film stills being projected on the walls of her show venue, from a couple of 1972 productions by cult B-movie director and Tarantino fave Fernando Di Leo. Their subversive spirit underlined Prada's work this season: The designer always has provocation on her mind, and as she said after the show, that provocation is now perversely to be found in the most classic clothes, because "everything else has been done."
That explained why her new menswear placed the emphasis squarely on classic tailoring in subtly twisted tasteful tones. The opening passageeverything in camelread like a manifesto, compounded later by an immaculate shearling car coat, a pale-blue topcoat, and a string of double-breasted suits. But Miuccia is congenitally incapable of playing it totally straight. So a tan leather suit took it all back to '72, and the Russian-style hats and folkish printed shirts were also a visual reminder of the days when well-heeled intellectuals indulged in a little "authentic" radical chic. Suede shoes came pre-scuffed, and even all that camel was clumsily pressed and worn with woolen mittens to rough up its polished perfection. Which brings us to the bags. "It's important not to do anything useless," declared Miuccia, so she offered capacious leather carryalls in a purple and teal so irresistible that backstage visitor Pharrell Williams insisted he'd be unable to leave Milan without them.