Atlas held the world on his shoulders at the center of the latest runway show from Prada on Thursday afternoon in Milan, even if this was a collection dedicated to formidable females.
Women like Miuccia Prada herself, who received an almost deafening burst of applause when she took her bow deep below the audience in one of two pits where the models walked. Each pit with a three-meter tall cut-out statue of Atlas bearing the globe on his shoulders.
“It’s about the conflict between femininity and strength,” explained Miuccia post show, as she sipped on champagne and tiny sandwiches of butter and anchovies. However, Signora Prada was coy when asked about reports that she plans to hire Raf Simons to work on her junior brand Miu Miu.
“Let’s see. It’s a big secret. Who knows?” she demurred with an enormous smile.
In effect, her main Prada collection subverted a whole series of female fashion clichés – like floral prints, sheer tops and career blazers – by combining them in unexpected alliances, to create a very novel vision of feminine.
Hence, perfectly cut and belted one-button blazers paired with calf-length skirts entirely made entirely of fringes; or dapper redingotes worn over knee-length skirts slit well up the thigh. Other skirts came in felt cut into multiple shards, like dried kelp. While many cocktails were semi sheer tubs of micro mesh – oft finished with glittering crystals, and worn over black tights and under teenage boy jackets.
Everyone walking on sleek platforms of silver and white with conical heels and beveled toes. Except for deepest winter, when the cast appeared in chunky lilac leather moon boots and waxy leather shearlings.
The set was based around a similar conception she used in the Prada menswear show in January. The audience perched five meters above the catwalk, almost like a gladiator’s circus. Previously, the center-point was an equestrian statue, and all week, the designer debated what should replace it.
“A woman on the horse would have been too clichéd. But Atlas summed the idea of strength, and how women should not shy away from it,” explained the designer of her surrealist set.
“All I have to do now is design a collection in a week!” chuckled Miuccia, referring to her Miu Miu show in Paris on Tuesday, March 3. Technically, 12 days away. With, or without, Raf Simons.