Milan: The early 60s influences that pervaded Prada’s Pre Fall collection returned in a richer, more sophisticated way for F/W 10. Earth-toned patterns evoking vintage upholstery, boxy skirt suits and flared capris solidified the mid-century references, but as always with Prada, there was a technological undertone, as evidenced by the giant video screen projecting flower power daisies, puzzles and an animated chanteuse. Super-shiny patent leather used for A-line skirts and jackets would be almost sci-fi if not paired with tactile sweaters and exaggerated cat-eye glasses that went far beyond any thrift-shop pair. Marled knits were surprisingly tailored into sturdy-looking coats with extended ribbed collars and easy A-line skirts, and strips of chunky cable-knit were used for wide headbands that held bouffant up-dos in place. For all the boxy 60s stiffness, Prada also injected a flirty femininity to the looks. Tiny black and white ruffles festooned bandeau panels for dresses and tops, and cutouts below the bust lent the designer’s brainy brand of sexiness to the otherwise demure full-skirted looks. Always forward-thinking while looking to past for inspiration, Miuccia Prada holds her spot as one of the most complex, influential designers in the world.

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