Metal grids on the floor and ceiling, the sound of an approaching tube train and Annie Lennox singing, 'This City Never Sleeps' – if last season’s career girls were driven around this season it’s all about mass transportation. Miuccia Prada closed this Paris Fashion Week with a collection that appeared to be already opening the next one - so out-of-sync with the mid-century romanticism we’ve been seeing elsewhere (one that she undoubtedly inspired) and in such a hurry to change the conversation and talk about something else. Very Miuccia, of course.
By the time the last look disappeared from view a silhouette that, at first, looked odd had started to sink in. Whether anyone in the audience was ready to absorb something new after a month of shows is another matter. Miuccia made sure by the sheer power of repetition that we did, whether we liked it or not. I did but then Olive Oyl is one of my favourite cartoon characters and here she was, her hair severely pulled back and twisted into two buns at the nape of her neck, her tights madly striped, her feet large in made-for-stomping tractor-soled boots. And wasn’t that Popeye’s navy sailor coat she as wearing? This being Miu Miu it came in shearling with comically big buttons.
So, here’s what Miuccia is saying: tie a spotted scarf around you neck, pull on the aforementioned tights and on top wear either a parka belted over a below-the-knee skirt or a parka strapless top belted over a below-the-knee skirt or a parka apron belted over, you guessed it, a below-the-knee skirt. A subtly quilted orange jacket, falling off the shoulders with black ribbed elastic cuffs was particularly brilliant. If that involves more parka than you can handle how about a tube knit dress or ribbed long cardigan belted over a bee yellow and black striped skirt? Mrs Prada knows how to throw unlikely colour combinations together so an orange and black spotted scarf sat nicely over a pink and black polka dot coat and the fur she showed today came in mossy brown. The ginormous white leather duffle carried by a model could have easily have fitted the entire collection inside it and I would have been happy to carry the load off her.