With this thrillingly prescient presentation, Miuccia
Prada once again proved that she is peerless in her
ability to distill current events into a fashion
moment. Typically cryptic backstage, she said the show
was about "men's forbidden dreams," foremost among
them battle and hunting. Hence the video screens that
ringed the catwalk, depicting a 15th-century painting
of medieval warfare by Paolo Uccello that was chopped
and changed so that it read like a 21st-century
computer game. This face-off between ancient and
modern, barbarism and "civilization," animated the
Quilting on a coat sleeve suggested antique garb. A shirt of leather chevrons with elbow pads looked like the sort of thing one would wear to joust, as did the knitted balaclavas, which stood in for knights' helmets. Shoes and boots were stamped with a heraldic pattern, and belts and bags were buckled with mythological griffins.
If "men at war" was the big picture, ancillary themes were vulnerability and protection, the former emphasized by chests bared under sweaters or jackets, the latter by the doubling-up of coat over coat or blouson over blouson. The parade of morphing animal prints on shirts, ties, and outerwear was extracted from old paintings. Animal-printed fur also covered the crash helmets that were the show's favored accessory. However fantastical they sound, they were a reflection of the enduringly successful blend of creativity and commerce that grounds Prada. Everyone rides scooters in Italy, so everyone needs a helmet. Even the tricky-looking trouser with its cropped, tabbed ankle has market potentialMiuccia clearly feels her warriors are ready for a new silhouette.