June 27, 2005
Is Miuccia Prada the fount of all things fashionable? Possibly not. But she continues to set the global style agenda in countless ways. Take the industry's current fascination with the dialogue between high and low (or class and mass). It's Prada who has made it almost conventional to combine a superbly tailored suit with something cheerfully and deliberately cheapin this case, flashy pop motifs of stars and hearts. The contrast this season didn't have the romantic edge of last spring's naïf-printed mousseline, but the same high-low impulse was there, dictating, among other things, silver sneakers with a suit. And where the V neck over a collegiate-striped collar and tie would once have been cashmere, it was now served up in proletarian sweatshirting. Underscoring the sense of continuity with past seasons, Miuccia sent out gray trousers and a bomber jacket with a worn-looking, crinkled effect, and revisited the nylon backpack that made her fortune in the early '90s. As ever, she was ready with a cryptic subtext for the collection: "I'm tired of cover-ups, I'm in love with sleeveless," she said, by way of explaining the bare arms that were a recurrent theme.