Miuccia Prada opened her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection with a sloppy red shirt, an eton blue jumper and a pair of slightly cropped, checked trousers. It was a quotidian look, the kind of easy, formulaic outfit any normal British man - your brother, your dad, your best friend, you - would wear. It was artfully underwhelming, yet strikingly beautiful and covetable at the same time.
Miuccia always manages to transcend fashion with her collections, whether it's through intelligence, wit or innovation. This time she did it by moving outside of the narrow fashion world and exploring everyday dressing. The collection was staged alongside installations that resembled TV sets of living rooms, complete with coffee tables, plants and ornaments. Screens in the background reenforced the illusion by displaying animated visions of pets moving through houses or trees outside a window. Models moved through the scene like characters in a video game - they were controllable Sim-like beings, and Miuccia was the gamemaster. Music aided impression by skipping from song to song to song as if someone was flicking through different radio stations while simultaneously playing a video game.
Clothing reflected the boxy, primary coloured outfits one can select from when created an animated online figure. In their formulaic looks (trousers plus top plus jacket and/or coat) each and every model could have been a different Wii character. Gingham patterns suggested the decoration in quaint toy streets, while chunky shoes with a deep sole accentuated the cartoonish feel by making the models walk robotically.
The final look, modelled by the same young Harry Styles look-a-like that opened the show, hammered home the simple, unassuming feel of the collection. While each piece was perfectly considered and crafted, the styling rendered them common and recognisable - cookie cutter clothes for ordinary boys.
Miuccia likes playing with control. Her Autumn/Winter collection from last year turned the Prada palace into a stage and her models into actors starring in her play. While a totally different aesthetic, this Autumn/Winter offering felt like an updated, modern version of that. Her players had moved into a modern cyberspace, but the audience remained just as enthralled.