Miuccia Prada always goes back to create her future. Last season, it was to the Fifties, and to the Seventies (and, incidentally, the Seventies via the Nineties), but for S/S 2011 she skipped back even further, almost a hundred years, to the 1920s. But of course, this wasn't a simple exercise in retro rehash. Miuccia Prada put her Flappers in stack heeled Club kid shoes, coloured them with fast-food shades of Disney yellows and traffic-cone orange, sent them marching out on a vast metal-mesh catwalk lit from within and broadcast it live on the Internet. It sounds extraordinary, audacious, electric. It was all that, and so much more.
The Twenties were an audacious, decadent time of pleasure-seeking - Miuccia Prada's collection harnessed that feeling, turning out flirtatious frocks and figure-hugging skirts that kicked out into a deep flounce of movement below the knee. The hot, Caribbean colour, sombreros and marinière stripes slashed across separates evoked cruise-liners and the French Riviera, lazy days in St Tropez, while drop-waist Tango dresses were cut in crisp poplin, worn by models with finger-waved hair, made-up like an Erté sketch and clutching multi-coloured, humbug-striped fur stoles. Those had more than a hint of the ultimate Twenties good-time girl, Josephine Baker - the infamous banana skirt of La Revue Nègre made an appearance, reworked as a bold, cartoonish print and sometimes twinned with a swirling pattern colliding Baroque picture frames with Congo motifs.
What does it all mean then? Without delving into Mrs Prada's brain there's probably no way to unravel the whole lot categorically - and in doing so, it would undoubtedly lose its charm. Overwhelmingly, it felt as if Prada simply wanted to have fun with this offering - it's impossible not to smile infectiously at a wide-cut shirt scrawled with fruit, or a curvaceous frock flecked with foliage and grinning chimps. There was nothing heavy-duty or over-analytical about these light-hearted clothes, just as the Twenties were about partying first and thinking last. And when Miuccia Prada tells the fashion world to party, they party like there's no tomorrow. What could be more Jazz Age than that?