Although the flowers and embellishment beloved of Prada designer Miuccia Prada remained, the Spring Summer 2013 collection showed a more restrained version – an almost, dare-we-say minimalist – Prada on the Milan Fashion Week runway.
Like the Burberry Prorsum SS13 collection shown last week at London Fashion Week, there was a lot of shiny materials at Prada too; opening with a stiff black satin dress embellished with stylised flowers appliqued to the bodice, followed by more stiff satin dresses, coats and two-pieces, all embellished with the simple stylised flower.
Unlike many of the collections shown for Spring Summer 2013 in New York and London, Prada restrained her colour palette, sticking to a mostly monochromatic theme of black and white, with touches of a clear lacquer red, a little strong orange, some navy, bits of darkest green and icy pastels of pink and soft green.
This is a very restrained palette for the designer known for turning banana earrings in to accessories icons. According to Style.com, Prada was rather philosophical backstage prior to the show, saying: “Dream is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good. Everything we used to feel historically, now you can't enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream.”
Certainly the collection for Prada Spring Summer 2013 seemed darker, less ornate and more streamlined than previous seasons, although touches of Ms Prada’s quirky sense of humour could still be seen in the addition of the traditional Japanese tabi socks as shoes, ornate daisy-embellished sunglasses and squared-off bags; other shoes evoked the towering flatforms of Harajuku girls.
Again according to Style.com, the Japanese element that is so strong in the collection – and the same influence cited by Gucci designer Frida Giannini ironically – was apparently added quite late into the design process, but the folded, sculptural pieces of Duchesse satin perfectly evoked the folds of kimonos, suggesting that the influence had been there all along.
Casual pullover tops, ribbed knickers with wide-banded legs and a ribbed “onesie” harked to a more athletic influence, but could just as easily be seen as being reminiscent of one of the many, and various, Harajuku tribes.
Yes, there was an underlying 60s minimalist vibe to the basic silhouettes that came down the runway – and a touch of 1980s Jil Sander in a few of the mid-calf, high-necked dresses and jackets – but the addition of the elaborate folding and ironic “slits” in the skirts and structured jackets pulled the pieces into the current decade quite nicely.
White fur embellished with black and red daisy shapes – a bit much for Spring? – added decadence to the collection but also took something away from the strong, sharp concept somewhat; perhaps the only misstep in a collection that mostly had something slightly new to say.
Overall, the Prada Spring Summer 2013 collection read as wearable, restrained, mature and much less quirky than previous seasons’ work. The multiple pieces – short skirts, dresses, long coats, cropped jackets and city shorts, not to mention the comfy looking shoes and fun bags and sunglasses – should translate into many women’s wardrobes remarkably easily.
Prada boutiques are located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, # B1–98 & #B2-69/70, Tel: 6688 7260; ION Orchard, #01-01 & #02-15, Tel: 6509 3113 and Paragon Shopping Centre, #01-45/47, Tel: 6735 5715. For more information, go to www.prada.com.