This is from the Prada Spring 2011 collection. As you can see, it shows a heavy sock paired with a delicate shoe. Which, yeah, breaks every rule of taste or common sense. And that's totally Prada.
Miuccia Prada's design process starts with something she dislikes--say, a particular color or silhouette--which she works with until she's made it beautiful. This explains the shock of what comes down her runway. But what explains the fact that sooner or later, we see that shocking stuff being worn by normal people?
I think it's Prada's uncanny prescience. She's often way ahead of the trends. Who started making bags from ripstop nylon? Who got women to carry designer backpacks? Prada. Who started the return of Mad Men era prints and colors? Prada was showing them before the show was invented. The peep-toed lace up bootie that is everywhere this fall? Prada, Spring 2006.
Miuccia Prada has such a grasp of the zeitgeist, she can be as much as a decade ahead of the times. For example, this outfit
came down the runway ten years ago. But it looks very current.
Nicole Kidman makes this shade of green look fabulous.
But look at the texture, too ... it's my grandmother's porch cushions!
Prada's ugly-is-beautiful aesthetic has been giving fashion a much-needed goose since the 1980s. And so, when Prada talks, I listen. Not because I'm going to jump on board Miuccia's crazy train. I'm much too conservative for that. In fact, if someone were keeping a list called "The Last By Whom The New Is Tried," I'd be number one. (Except I'd be agitating to be moved further down, because I'd much rather be last.)
No, for me, Prada is a fashion canary in a coalmine. I might hate kitten heels, but knowing that they've walked the Prada runway gives me a year or two extra to adjust to their revival.
Even if my initial reaction to open-toed boots is absolute incredulity, I know that Miuccia Prada has spoken, and eventually ... I might actually end up owning a pair. Yes, I'm the Last By Whom the New is Tried. But I'm trying to keep an open mind.
Because closing your mind is the first step towards getting, looking, and feeling old.
And that's why I keep an eye on Prada.