Prada is destination number two of Resort season. The company’s West 52nd Street Piano Factory headquarters aren’t quite as exotic as Dior’s torchlit Marrakech idyll looked in pictures, but there were luminaries to spare in the front rows at tonight’s show: Uma Thurman and her teenage son in one section; Elle Fanning, Max Minghella, Diane Kruger, and Paul Dano in another; and a Stranger Thingscontingent in a third.
All that star power aside, though, this wasn’t a collection of glitz and glam. Miuccia Prada was in an understated frame of mind. Example numero uno was the spare double-breasted black coat that opened the show and the straightforward tailoring that followed it, devoid of any embellishments save for tattersal checks and minimal in the style of her ’90s heyday. As waiters emerged with trays of drinks and small plates—dinner was served after the show; there was a slew of international editors to feed—Mrs. Prada chatted thoughtfully. Real, naive, and “the opposite of pretentious” is how she described the collection. “It’s simplicity as a protest against too much. I’m sensitive to the political situation; it affects me.” That’s one reason she wanted to show “at home.”
Her instinct this season was to work with cotton, a humble material put into sharp relief by the bronze duchesse satin pantsuit she wore to take her bow. There were peasant tops with smocking and hand-embroideries, striped button-downs in novel shapes, Calico print jackets and matching pants, and utility suits in solid pastels. Homey sack dresses were patch-worked from those stripes and calicos, and skirts were full and a-line—a silhouette familiar to Prada fans but somehow more girlish in its proportions, perhaps due to the high-top sneakers worn with thick ribbed socks that many of the looks padded out on.
The Prada show coincided with the opening day of New York’s Frieze Art Fair. An Alfredo Jaar piece spelling out “Teach us to outgrow our madness” in neon capitals made the rounds on Instagram. The dainty sturdiness of these clothes is likely to resonate with shoppers who are likewise turned off by the complexities and complications of our modern existence. Those who are simply in the mood for something pretty will find much to like here, as well. Usually Mrs. P serves up her loveliness with a dash of provocation or a side of intrigue—something dark—but tonight pretty was enough. There was something refreshing about that.
Photos: Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com