Prada submits that dressing in sheers makes a powerful feminist statement, a view hotly contested during the recent entertainment awards season.
But designer Miuccia Prada has some authority in the matter. Her collections frequently comment on a sociopolitical climate. She said the inspiration for her collection shown in Milan came from the Viennese secession period, when the intelligentsia, creatives and artisans “worked together to create something good” as a counterpoint to the Industrial Revolution.
For next autumn and winter, Prada deconstructed the skirt until it was barely there. Long silky fringe on an elegant, urban rendering of a grass skirt, a pleated skirt reduced to strips, and finally sheer numbers were among the looks.
“Femininity is a power by itself,” she said backstage.
Prada’s point: Strong women should not have to give up being feminine. She paired diminishing skirts with strong-shouldered belted jackets or leather ties and sleeveless shirts to drive home the message. And she claimed feminine embellishments for daywear, such as the beaded fringe on speckled knitwear.
Prada threw down the gauntlet to women who dress for workouts of comfort on school carpool runs. Knit tights and a sports bra layered with a sheer beaded tunic were an open dare to the fashion police. The collection took a decidedly luxe turn with patent leather coats in frothy pink and sea green that had shearling details and beading.
“Glamour is something that makes you optimistic, and lifts you up,” Prada said.