Backstage, Miuccia Prada was talking about 'summer being summer, and winter being winter.' Alas, the last collection of the S/S 17 womenswear runway calendar skipped any convoluted concepts and headed straight for the beach. There was a sting in the tail, an arguable filmic melancholy, a wistfulness in the collection. 'Beaches, we don't know how much longer we will have them for', were among the words she uttered backstage.
The sounds of drifting ocean waves opened the show, as appliqué bathing caps and open-fronted apron skirts walked the runway. The bathing attire that Miuccia stuck on top of tailoring at Prada was here in the shape of little smocked tops. Très girlish.
Beach shorts and little shirts were seen alongside trompe l'oeil knitted pelmets sat atop formal black trousers. There was a Louise Dahl Wolfe, mid-20th century Formica vibe. Prints were the colour of ice-creams. A subversive edge arrived via black PVC macs, which were worn over bikinis. Incredibly glamorous but modern, these pin ups had their hair left loose under the silver screen bathing caps and Liz Taylor headscarves. Esther Williams, the great Hollywood star cum swimming sensation, and her starring role in Million Dollar Mermaid, was seemingly also being channeled.
Highly stylised, graphic printed stoles looked like beach towels. One fur coat had the informality of a dressing gown and girls walked in bathing slides. Floral and foliage came in the guise of folkloric, graphic daisies - or pale blue and white wallpaper prints. Apple green, red or blue striped bags, wraps and jackets were destined for the chicest beach hut sur la plage.
Miuccia's S/S 17 collection at Prada had been about the working woman, the multi-tasking woman, the all-things-to-everyone woman. Here, it was about taking a holiday from all of that, literally. Her woman - seemingly in transit at Prada - had made it to her final destination at Miu Miu.