Prada’s Fall/Winter 2013 womenswear show teaches us that texture is key, particularly in cold weather dressing. The collection was defined through the unexpected synthesis of contrasting textures, patterns and materials, marrying nostalgia and modernity.
The primary notes of familiarity styled throughout a number of the show’s 48 looks were gingham prints – a nod to picnic culture and childhood pastimes – as well as leather and fur combinations, tweed, metallic accents and perfectly tailored collars. In classic Miuccia Prada fashion, the house’s creative director underscored these references through unique styling choices and silhouettes: exposed shoulders, exaggerated cuffs – sometimes even in luscious chinchilla – and halfway unzipped zippers, exposing the midriff. In particular, we see chocolate brown tweed under chocolate brown mink, soft cashmere cardigans under structured dresses and heavy outerwear marked with slivers of embellished cloth.
Through the lens of a film noir aesthetic, Miuccia’s collection creates a sense of ephemerally. In this instance, the models act as film stills, transforming the clothes into memories of specific moments. The intended effect was to generate feelings between what is seen on the screen and what occurs in real life, creating a mesmerizing visual narrative. Key looks emphasizing this aesthetic varied in form and focus. A baby pink gingham dress with white pearly buttons and a thick metallic silver waist belt, for example, beg comparison to a 1950s housewife, whose shell is pristine but has several layers hidden beneath. There was also a gun-metal crocodile jacket exposing the midriff, interrupted by a metallic belt and followed by a brown skirt embellished with puddles of black sequins. This look speaks for itself, much like the black and white silent films, which contain enough emotion to absolve the necessity of words.
Ending the show is a long transparent dress with caged sequins, a black waist belt and a just-below-the-knee matching mink coat: this gives us The Great Gatsby meets Casino. In addition, the handbags seen throughout the show are also in sync with the clothes: there is an uncanny attention to texture and pattern that is even extended onto the hand-held products, seen in a mélange between a picnic and doctor bag, tweed and crocodile bags, and an array of pouches. Overall, Prada’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection is a black and white movie starring a cool girl, a cool girl wearing Miuccia Prada’s designs.