Milan: Muiccia Prada’s Women’s collection, which she referred to as “minimal baroque”, was presented in the same venue as her July Men’s show, and the two had more in common than just a location. The hospital-scrub, minimalist shapes, electric brights and bold stripes returned for the girls, with seductive hourglass silhouettes and dropped skirts giving them a feminine edge. While this alone would have made for an intriguing concept, Prada added extra layers of complexity with diverse references ranging from the Baroque movement to South America to iconic singer/dancer/actress Josephine Baker. Monkeys and bananas cohabited with borrowed-from-the-duomo cherubs for free-hand prints, the bananas perhaps referencing one of Baker’s most famous costumes from her Folies Bergère days – briefs with the fruits hanging from the waistband, and not much else. The fabulous Ms. Baker may also have inspired an embroidered image of a topless dancing woman with a pineapple hat surrounded by bright scrolls of color. The embellishment, along with a beaded hem, on a clean white sheath seemed to reference traditional Mexican garments. Though the popping colors and cheeky motifs were the first things to jump out, chic black looks with rounded shoulders and princess seams were quietly elegant and office-to-cocktails appropriate, certain to fly off the racks.

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