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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Prada: A Piece of a Woman

A powerful message about femininity and strength during different stations of a life's journey

27 Февраля 2016

Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Cheers and whoops of joy rung out at Prada from the raw wood set. The last outfits lingered on the catwalk — a dress with a soft, floral prettiness and a face drawn near the hem; and a bold, gold brocade coat with a few hand-painted spring flowers rising up from the bottom like a force of nature.

It was an exceptional moment as Miuccia Prada showed herself feisty and fearless about the needs and desires of women. The clothes — and their accessories — were used on the runway like protective armour, or just as drama. Each outfit — even a sober navy cape — had a split personality: plain wool outside, then a storyline silken garment slithering under the tailoring. Everywhere there was freedom, as in a floral brocade skirt - yet even that piece had to face off a waist-clinching corset.

Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

The designer suggested later that the corset belts were things that women had to bear in the litany of life. “Different moments — love, no love, pain, happiness, different kinds of women, sexy or boring,” Miuccia said. “Just clothes” would mean simple, desirable things like patterned pieces, mingled with other elongated dresses where there were drawings from artist Christophe Chemin.

The show could be viewed as part of fashion's chaos theory, as seen in its wildest form in Milan this week at Gucci. But Prada is different. She doesn't edit her fashion. She lives it. I was brimming with questions backstage, from “why corsets? Why now?” to explanations of the dizzying decoration and incomprehensible printed words.


Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Some, Miuccia explained, were the new names post-revolutionary France gave to the four seasons. So why the gilded coats? Because Miuccia had seen a film about King Louis XIV showing how gold could be empowering. “It's about the history of women, pieced off with different dramas; when she is happy and when she is sad. We need to understand who we are,” Miuccia said. Psychology apart, is there any other designer who can capture the chameleon spirit of today's women - and at the same time produce things to buy? There was a pick of pieces lovely, ugly, practical and frivolous, from clothes to bags, hats to patterned hose. 

Miuccia Prada is an exceptional woman in life and in fashion. And this season's show was her most powerful yet.


Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Prada, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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