Prada’s Milan fashion week show goes for heightened femininity

Miuccia Prada has built a multimillion-euro business on confounding expectations. Her autumn/winter 2015 Prada on Thursday was no exception.
If anything, Prada’s many fans suspected this collection would be sombre and unisex. That was the flavour of the brand’s menswear presentation in January, which featured an even split of male and female models and was described as “the first part of the autumn/winter 2015 fashion show”. This, then, was to be the second part. 
In fact, it was an excessively feminine show. Models were all female and wore suits in fondant fancy colours styled with long, princessy leather gloves. Dresseswere empire line and decorated with bows.
Models’ high ponytails recalled Grace Kelly’s regal up dos; a repeated flower motif appeared as a hair clip and as brooches. From dress coats to low “v” backless tops to strappy dresses, the silhouette felt like a futuristic take on the 1960s, thanks in part to the use of a fabric that Mrs Prada afterwards described as a “type of jersey”, which gave the clothes a flat Jetsons texture.
A repeated pattern, which Prada explained was a magnified digital print of a molecule, added to this futuristic sense. So, too, did the set, which had the corrugated steel and antechambers of a spaceship. 
There were plenty of typically Prada twists. As well as two-tone Mary Jane sandals that look certain to set tills ringing, many of the shoes were outright ugly – tight rubbery knee-high boots with thick, contrasting soles that squeaked as models walked – and the colour combinations (a chartreuse dress over a lime green shirt with Barbie pink cuffs appeared paired with a bottle green jumper) often went beyond beautiful to downright weird. 
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