Two Women

Season after season, Miuccia Prada refuses to be pinned down on the inspiration, influence or any sort of background story to her collection and yet so influential is she that season after season the industry searches for them. The show began with a little teaser, some grey flannel dresses, rather drab and cut to a rather difficult length below the knee. Then suddenly it appeared, “it” being the lace; dresses, skirts, little peplum belts, even bags (lace bags for Fall!), and the color palette, at first subdued in black and navy but then breaking out into coffee, cream and orange. This was followed by a long series of dresses in second skin knit and ombré satin before reverting back into lace and organza separates. the shoes were ornate, complicated, ruffled and winged. The genius of this collection is that it provides the ultra feminine counterpoint to the severity and austerity of the other leading collections of the season (Jil Sander, Calvin Klein Collection, Bottega Veneta) without being unable to sit together on the floor of a department store next fall and look totally cohesive.


Alberta Ferretti, by taking the opposite approach (toning down her typical ultra-femme stance) told a similar story. The clothes were more subdued  in style with less embellishment than usual but certainly no less beautiful or feminine. Dresses and skirts were curved at the hem or given a trapeze line—one of them flowing into accordion pleats in back; in other places draping was also used to great effect. Outerwear was also given added volume. The jewel toned palette used throughout added a perfect note of sophistication to a restraint but super-feminine collection.


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