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Prada, by Miuccia Prada, autumn/winter 2012, in Milan

Prada, by Miuccia Prada, autumn/winter 2012, in Milan
Miuccia Prada staged a fashion show dedicated to power — complete with a runway finale of acclaimed actors that had the laidback men’s pack roaring with applause. Dressed in severe coats evoking Eastern Bloc military dress, the likes of Willem Dafoe, Tim Roth, Adrien Brody and Gary Oldman roamed a massive, carpeted space — unmoved by the response.

Prada said the show was also about a “historical memory” — a sweep that includes her own legacy. The offbeat colors – including mustard and dull purple — and vintage-look fabrics could only come from her. And among the cast of show characters were some of her runway models of yore. It was a tour de force.



Prada lent her considerable weight as a fashion influencer to a big mood change in men’s wear. Sunny colors and cheerful prints were discharged and replaced by clothes that are darker, more severe and sometimes even drab. In Prada’s hands, they look new and compelling.

From the first exit — a smart dark coat over a white turtleneck, slim pants and gleaming dress shoes — Prada set a military tone. Belted coats in lightweight wool were a major statement, worn by most of her troops, and often decorated with badges and sunglasses over the heart. Sometimes coats were layered over other coats, vests, shirts and turtlenecks — as if you can never dress too powerfully. Butler pinstripes evoked other kinds of  uniforms.

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