Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tourist Trap...


Not many designers can manage to do something interesting with as tired a theme as resort-wear, but then not many designers have as twisted a mind as Miuccia Prada. In rapid change mode yet again (she is the queen of rapid change, after all) Prada ditched the headline making curves of her Fall collection for light, crisp, sometimes boxy clothes that combined such clashing elements as rugby or sailor stripes in a rainbow of crayon colors, prints inspired by baroque-era interiors, medical scrubs, the 20s, the 40s, the 50s, and souvenir t-shirts. The overall effect, at least to me, brought to mind a kind of retro tourism vibe, the look of post-WWII American or European women traveling to places like Cuba, Mexico and Brazil with a brand new wardrobe of clothes perfectly suited to a tropical climate. This being a Prada collection the results had a kind of intentionally cheesy and tacky quality to them.

While I don't necessarily love all of the clothes on their own, I can appreciate them for the most part. For instance, I don't actually like the three chemise dresses embroidered to look like souvenir t-shirts, but I certainly enjoy the humor of them. Same goes for the cartoon banana and baroque monkey prints, which I don't think many people would be able to pull of very convincingly. But they're still pretty clever. The pieces I do like are some of the colorful striped looks. More than sailors or rugby they make me think of beach towels, and that's really not a bad association when you're looking at summer clothes. I also love the fox stoles that a lot of the models were carrying. It's such a ridiculous idea, a fur stole for the summer, made even more ridiculous by the fact that they weren't even being worn. I'm especially fond of the striped ones. With the dangling tails they kind of look like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. I don't know if anyone else got that, but it makes me smile, so who cares? One thing that this collection makes clear, yet again, is that Miuccia is undoubtedly at her best when she's fucking up a cliche.

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