Prada S/S16
Prada S/S16

Everything that glitters is gold, right? And if you can see it, you can achieve it, correct? I’m guessing those are the platitudes Miuccia Prada this afternoon as everything about this show, from the invitation, to the set with polycarbonate and fiberglass stalactites hanging from the ceiling, to the models’ lips and most everything that possibly could be was tinged in gold. Perhaps there was a bit of the Midas touch running amok, because the color was everywhere. My immediate response, almost instinctive, was to begin humming the theme from the 1960s James Bond film, Goldfinger. Actually, there are enough 60s references in this collection, that might have made a good soundtrack for the show. Perhaps she couldn’t get the usage rights.

Ms. Prada is quite adept at catching her guests off guard and presenting shows that are nothing at all like the last one, or any others she’s presented. This season is no different and if you’re paying attention to social media you’re probably hearing/reading all the howling about the hair plastered to the head and the earrings that looked as though they’d been stolen from a Christmas tree. Those are certainly “non-standard” in the sense of what one’s general take on fashion aesthetics, but Miuccia has always had that bad-taste-is-good-taste conflict to her shows and it all manages to wash out by the time the garments hit store shelves. So, let’s cut through the clutter and consider what really matters.

Stripes. They’re everywhere, and they don’t necessarily match from top to bottom, which may make one’s eyes a bit wonky from time to time. We should know better than to expect any sort of uniformity from Prada, though. At least she’s fairly consistent in keeping most of the stripes vertical and the dresses, especially toward the middle of the collection, really need the stripes to keep them from being boring.

Fabric mashups. Heavy wool on top, sheer chiffon on bottom, or vice-versa, or some other similar type of juxtaposition that, in theory, shouldn’t make any sense. This is one of Prada’s talents, though. She can mix and match fabrics perhaps better than anyone and find ways to make them work even when everything says they shouldn’t. The result is a lot of shimmer where it’s not expected, and a lot of extra padding where one hadn’t thought to ask for it.

Neck netting. At least, that’s what we’re calling it for now. Perhaps someone will come up with a better name by the time the day is out. It’s large and its on every ensemble that made its way down the catwalk. I can see this perhaps catching on among the most fashionable people on the red carpet, but in real life I’m not sure it does so very well simply because it’s going to tangle easily and shift dramatically as one moves around. As a visual element, though, it really is quite striking.

From pailette overcoats to plaids and yarn and all that gold, this is a Prada collection that gives the eyes a workout. But then, don’t they all?

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