David Sylvian's sonorous tones crooned the dark,
waltz-timed Night Porter on the soundtrack,
invoking images of a Mittel Europa-isch world out of
time. It's a place Miuccia Prada has visited before.
This trip, however, she opted for a more monochrome
approach than usual. "This is my childhood," she
stated after the show. "I grew up wearing Tyrolean
clothes." But there was little sense of youthful
playfulness in the outfitsthe worn-looking gray
suit, the loden coat and trousers, the high-waisted
houndstooth jacketthat made their way down the
catwalk. The models, on the other hand, were so young
that some seemed to be having trouble mustering the
strength to raise feet shod in huge studded hiking
The Austro-Hungarian influence seeped through in
epauletted coats and stirruped pants, both of which
suggested boy riders at a military academy. The green
suede breeches and the trousers tucked into boots also
had an equestrian flavor. Heraldry resurfaced from
Miuccia's signature show earlier in the week in the
form of a pop-bright print on a shirt as well as a
cluster of badge-like attachments for shirts and caps.
Boy scouts perhaps? Fingerless gloves and skinny-rib
knits so fine they were almost sheer sealed the sense
that these were clothes for callow youths.
Miuccia twinkled at the thought that there might be a
strand of decadence in the collection, but it was
really innocence that was on show here.