January 15, 2011 Milan
Mercifully, you can't pin a Prada collection down to one scenario. Mr. Salesman is nobody's dream. But here, there was also a bizarre subtext—britches, stockings, pudding-bowl haircuts—that suggested puritans, until the knee-highs turned Lurex-sparkly. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that Prada has deliberately flirted with the out-of-time peculiar.
Getting back to suede for a moment, Miuccia has always insisted it's one of her least favorite things, yet it was all over this collection. In fact, she was even sporting a black suede jacket. But that intangible oddness may actually be the essence of Prada. She could have been quoting from herself with Art Deco prints (more mock turtles) that looked like sixties upholstery. And the ultra-boxy, three-button jackets that determined the collection's silhouette took the deconstruction the label has been flirting with in its menswear to a logical but alienating extreme (as compared to Spring's happy humanism).
A blast of Motörhead's "Ace of Spades" took us back to that salesman-in-the-casino analogy. The cards remind us that life's a gamble. And Miuccia surely knows that not every bet pays off.