Miuccia Prada, a name synonymous with modernity and reinvention, has long been a leader in forward thinking design and innovation. Case in point, Prada’s fall/winter 1996 collection, a subversive, minimalistic response to the standard woman’s wear styles of the 1990’s.
One of the most iconic runway moments of the past three decades, Prada’s collection of cubist-style prints and muted hues sought reference from the 1960s and 70s, while catapulting 20th century fashion into a new era. Miuccia’s subtle manipulation of shape, color, material and silhouette, fosters collections that are both unfalteringly cool and unarguably timeless. For fall/winter 1996, the designer employed all such techniques to prove why every woman wants and needs to be a Prada woman.
As the show commenced, 90s supermodels sauntered down the runway in structured suiting and simple daywear rendered in shades of khaki, brown and mustard yellow. Heavy fabrics offered a sense of solidity and weight to the collection, seen in thick wool calf-length skirts and tailored trousers, many styled with nothing but an effortless camel turtleneck or grey V-neck sweater. A retro text motif was scattered throughout the season’s opening looks, as geometric argyle-patterns were introduced mid-show – a motif that has since been reinterpreted by countless designers and even reintroduced by Prada herself, for the brand’s fall/winter 2012 show. The season’s featured eveningwear took shape in a number of lilac and mossy sheer gowns subtly embellished with glittering seams – yet another of Prada’s now trademark finishing techniques.
Over the past three decades Miuccia Prada has shown season-after-season that her brilliance lies in her singular ability to approach fashion design with a restrained, architectural eye; a unique talent that defined the brand’s fall/winter 1996 collection.