Backstage, Miuccia Prada asked me what I thought of her show title suggestions — “Variations on Beauty”; “Soft Pop”; and “Strange Fairy Tales”.
I said I couldn’t tell until I had watched the show, not realising that by walking through the low, metallic-ceilinged room with its carpets in different sherbet colours, I had seen an essential part of this atmospheric collection.
Maybe “Sweet and Sour” was the appropriate name for the compelling, flat colours: primrose yellow for a tailored coat; a pink jacket with narrow rotting-shrimp-coloured trousers; a vivid peacock-meets-lagoon-blue dress. Not a pastel rainbow of shades but a vivid expression of deliberately off-colours.
There were more painterly effects on shoes, such as uplifted Mary Janes with box heels, and crazy mixes of outfits, especially as the intense colours crept up bare arms as over-the-elbow gloves.
And the jewels! Real and fake, decorating a horsey dressage of a hair-do, ponytail swept up sideways.
“It’s Hitchcock!” announced fashion It Girl Alexa Chung, adding that she was “obsessed with Prada”. She, like Vogue Japan’s creative consultant Anna Dello Russo, was wearing one of the leafy green outfits from the current collection.
I liked the show for its vision of pretty modern women as clear as the jewel stones, even if in its fake innocence it reminded me of a Miu Miu attitude.
Mostly I found the collection romantic, mysterious, and miraculous — for how does the indefatigable ‘Mrs Prada’ do it all? There is ‘The Iconoclasts’ project that has involved three visionary costume designers ‘dressing’ different Prada stores; Miuccia is now curating the art exhibition that will inaugurate the Fondazione Prada’s new permanent Milan venue in Largo Isarco this May; and she is also working on an exhibition for the Venice Biennale.
I asked if there was a link between all these projects. “I always say I don’t want to mix them them, but my mind is one,” said Miuccia. And it is her singular approach, so clear, sure, and often discomforting, that makes me, too, obsessed with her vision.