At Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014, Miuccia Prada's Bold, Unapologetic Women Take Over the Runway
In a month punctuated by '90s minimalism, Miuccia Prada's collection was the bold, colorful, unashamed statement we didn't know we were waiting for.
The most striking elements of Prada's Spring 2014 RTW collection were the faces that peered out at us from dresses and jackets, reflecting the colorful murals of women that were painted behind the runway. Hovering above these painted ladies, almost every look had a visible outer bra, which may have looked a little overdone when pasted onto a winter coat, but worked surprisingly well when integrated into a sleeveless dress, like the one on the right:
Working external bras into the dresses' design was a seamless blending of two ideas: the shape of a woman's body, and the illusion of the shape of a woman's body. Womanly curves were highlighted elsewhere by curving lines of appliques or sequins that swooped down the body, emphasizing the swell of hips.
Despite the femininity of the clothing, there was nothing vulnerable about these women and their exposed underwear — sportswear and athleticism also heavily informed the collection. Each model wore a pair of tight, colorful leg warmers whose athletic, ribbed fabric appeared again in sweaters, skirts, and bandeaux.
Obviously, Prada was inspired by the idea of a strong woman — she told WWD she was "fixated" by the concept. But the term is too catch-all for what we have here. What exactly characterizes the Spring 2014 Prada woman? She's unapologetic (she wears her lingerie on the outside), but she's not bitter (she won't be burning that bra any time soon). She's passionate and physical, but the direct gaze from the painted ladies on her skirts is disconcerting — she won't let the world sexualize her without consequences. She doesn't mind major color and she's not averse to a few sequins.
In short, the new Prada girl is extremely savvy, not just about her wardrobe, but about the nuances, the baggage, and the joy of being a woman.