"I didn't want to talk about power, it's a suggestion of importance and beauty," Italian designer Miuccia Prada explained to WWD about her Fall 2012 RTW collection.
Importance and beauty were both well accounted for- this was a Prada collection after all- but whether the designer acknowledged it, the collection was power personified.
The show opened with models- eyes kohl-smudged, eyebrows dyed neon, and two-tone hair iron-pressed straight and pulled back- cloaked in black wool coats, jackets, pants, and skirts. All black looks were given drama with giant geometric jewels cascading down the front and arms of coats and jackets, around the neckline, and anchoring the legs of pants. Next came a blast of colors and prints; the runway was now populated by suits, coats, and skirts in mustard, olive, rustic orange, and purple. Always one to push it even further, Miuccia Prada arranged these colors in David Hick-esque geometric prints, and like the black looks that preceded, these eye-catching looks were also embellished with strategically placed over-sized jewels.
Colors and prints were not the only powerful features of this collection; the silhouettes spoke volumes, literally. Coats were over-sized with belts cinching high above the waist to create long, distorted, proportions. Pants were all cropped above the ankle, adding more length to the already statuesque models. The styling also brought to light a new manifestation of power, that of androgyny and precision. All looks featured severely cut pants, coats were more like manipulated menswear than ladylike, shirts and jackets were buttoned all the way up, and pieces that did not have buttons failed to show any cleavage.
The accessories, the bread-and-butter of Prada, were plenty and most likely near the top of every fashion lovers list. Every model held a bag, from small rectangular clutches to large bejeweled doctor's carryalls. Shoes came in two flavors, platform Mary Janes or masculine Oxfords, most featured a thick lacquered contrast paint, or were draped in satin and then bejeweled. Glasses with vintage round frames and broad belts rounded out the accessories.
It's almost ironic that Mrs. Prada did not want to talk power, with an exhibition opening this spring in her honor at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and being named one of Forbe's "World's Most Powerful Women," there are only a few people in fashion with more power than her.
- Damoy McKenzie
Photo credits: WWD