Sometimes it feels as though Miuccia Prada has a sixth sense. She seems to know exactly what people are longing for, even before they do. There was already a hum of desire for old Prada prints and Prada Sport before Mrs. Prada brought those two themes into the fore for A/W 18. That show did to logos and prints what kerosene does to a lightly flickering flame. So, for S/S 19, after last season’s explosion of print and pattern, Prada, this season, was a simpler, sexier affair.
The traditional browns were back in full force - Prada knows that we're still hungry for the archive and is leading us down a path tinged with nostalgia. Toffee browns were terrifically clashed, in true Prada style, with neon pinks, grass greens and acid wash denim jeans and blazer. The latter felt awkwardly paternal and yet entirely covetable. One feels utterly beguiled under Prada’s spell. Actually, there were lots of elements that nodded to an older gentleman’s aesthetic, elements that haven't appeared on a major scale for a while - loafers and boat shoes to name a few. Given Prada panelling, logos and trim, these shoes already had editors itching to buy.
Puffed trapper hats were patterned with knits or a sporty sheen and appeared large and in charge on the majority of models. In contrast to this, shorts had gone super short. Upper-thigh skimming and not for those who like to lunge, these tiny shorts appeared in delicious bright orange, muted greens and navy. 'Very short shorts, like the mini-skirt. Sexy on boys!' giggled Miuccia Prada backstage. Attention-stealing, double-take inducing - these short-shorts were brilliant.
The logomania of last season was here updated with miniature stamps in a cartoonish retro style on polo neck collar, sock and slide. 'They are such a trend. I joke about them, so we did them very small,' muses Prada. A sixties touch was also seen on lycra-like polo necks with wavy, trippy acid tones that could have been pulled from the wallpaper of the decade. The largest retro flourish was that of Danish designer Verner Panton’s sixties Inflatable Stools, which gave a faint plastic aroma to the room and had editors and buyers alike giddy with glee.
Lurid prints aside, there was an elegant simplicity to this collection that we haven’t seen in a while. In part because when challenging simplicity, there’s nowhere to hide. 'I did a lot of work on designing the simple. Sometimes that’s more work than designing something complicated,' said Prada. This was a back-to-basics of sorts - Prada had been rewinding the clock while racing forward. She knows what to hand us, and when to hand it. In a time when the tracksuit and trainer have reigned triumphant for just that little too long, Prada provides the antidote with sexy short-shorts and the best of Milanese fashion with a flourish.