Snob Essentials

Prada Couture Fall 2011

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What to make of the fact that Miuccia Prada showed not one single pair of pants at her fall show Thursday night? It was all about the dress–in drop-waist and coat form, loose-fitting, low-belted and above the knee–in what she described as an “innocent and fresh” collection. Whereas in the past Prada has painted on a multidimensional canvas, fall is proving to be all about one level. Hints of a schoolgirl’s uniform whispered throughout this vaguely sixties collection, where the dress lengths rose about four inches above the knee and were almost all paired with patchwork boots that clung like second skin (note the unusual bulbous curve of the heel).

Like Marc Jacobs in New York, Prada seemed to be looking at textures and fabrics–fur, python, pailettes!–that seem sexy but then subverting them on their heads. The graphic dresses in particular were winners (the mixed box plaids will have us all doing double takes come fall) particularly when trimmed with the outsized borders and giant buttons. The python coat was beautiful, the double-breasted coatdresses were practical and the organza coat with tufted fur wacky and fun. There is something in this collection for every woman, innocent or not so much, to love. To wit, the bevy of paillette dresses that went from nude to red were smooth in the back to allow sitting with ease.

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