Pastiche. That was the word that sprang to mind upon the first exit in Miuccia Prada's Incomprehensibly Brilliant Spring 2014 Collection. Along with Pastiche, Other terms found their home in this collection... Surrealism, Dadaism, Pop, Subversion, Graffiti, There were Layers upon Layers of Subtext and Context in the clothes presented here. Miuccia is at her heart, The most Thoughtful, yet deeply eccentric Subversive! The moment you expect one thing from her, she swerves into some new territory that if she were not so borne to her role as a designer would cause palpitations in the heart of most any other designer.
Taking as her Principal Inspiration, Latin American Girl Gangs and Graffiti Art, Prada Boiled up a Humdinger of a collection that was Artful and Archly Elegant but also was covertly Luxurious and Lavish! Her girl gangs could be from East L.A. or from Guadalajara or Columbia... the different posses were given differing and unique facial and hair affectations, which in itself was just a MASTERSTROKE of Brilliance!
With the veneer of such a tough and intimidating Idee... There was also a Marvellously Glorious High Art vein being tapped that channeled equally Lichtenstein, Hockney and Nagel! With such Disparate ideas swirling in the ether, Someone less deft of hand would have fumbled under the immense weight of trying to tie it all together... Not Miuccia!
Let's Get this out of the way now... To try to go into extended detail about multiple exits would be a waste of time in the utter extreme, for this is the kind of collection that words can only do so much. Yes, More intense verbal perusal is in order, but in the spirit of brevity and actually in the face that the clothes are so rich in depth, describing them in any contextual way is to spoil their Magic!
Take the almost dizzying details of the First Exit... what could be taken as a sleeveless shift over a ribbed sock knit skirt under would be the most humble way of interpreting the outfit. When one gives it the second look, one sees the scads of Sequins and Beaded embroidery on the slanted top half of the bodice that was divided into THREE Section, Orange and Red at the neck, Green and Yellow below that and then Black below that, AND IT STILL WASN'T DONE... the Face Portrait print on the skirt was combined with a swirling Damask print. WHEW! All this in one "SIMPLE" outfit.
Before there is any further dissection, let's take a minute to glorify the most sublime usage of LAVISH Beading and Sequin embroidery on the day wear in either the sculpted brassiere tops on the dresses or in dense smatterings on shift dresses and skirts! It did not endow the clothes with a sense of the Decorous or the Lavish. It seemed just a natural expression of the artiste quality simmering throughout!
Worth a mention, the decidedly Un-opulent use of Fur. The Furs in this collection were Pop Pieces of Wearable Art. They had Gravitas and made perfect sense when the Spring decides to take a chilly, wet turn. The prettiest was at Exit No. 10 an intricate construction of Nude and Yolk and White with Cornflower Blue and Lemon Yellow!
The show see-sawed between Eccentric and Extreme Ornamentation pastiches and more Sportif and Simple configurations adorned with baroque accents. Some of the "Portrait" printed pieces were spliced into Multi mix Pastiches of Outlandish Technical Facility, Matching swaths of Embroidery and solid fabric with textured material and beading... it was all Deliriously Riotous! Miuccia has never been one toe the line of just Pretty and Simple... There is always a flagrant streak of defiance in all her work, even the most restrained and charming of Prada's collections have always been suffused with a almost bitter disdain for anything normal or conventional. This collection was just one of the most Exhilarating evocations of that mindset. And will definitely go down in her Archive as one of the best of Miuccia's Epoch!