You never know what you're going to get with Miuccia Prada. I mean this is the woman who made plain nylon bags--and massive Geisha-inspired platforms--a thing. Prada is the rare designer who can dart between over-the-top editorial-bait (see: Spring 2013, Spring 2010), and understated, quiet luxury without ever seeming like she's lost her way. For fall 2013, she went with the latter: A moody, yet surprisingly wearable, collection.
Everything from the slightly unsettling shadow play moving on the walls--a cat's tail swishing, fans slowly turning, and a woman posing as if for a mirror--to the suspenseful music set the tone for darkly cinematic collection. This season, Prada's girl was a woman in distress, a woman, if the music was anything to go by, in a horror film. Hitchcock perhaps? Models sported wet hair, and bore the markers of undress: sleeves of dresses were roughly pushed down the shoulder, as if they were being torn off; zippers and several buttons were undone, and the last evening looks revealed underwear beneath the sheer material.
Most of the frocks were styled with thin long-sleeved sweaters, lending a slightly grunge-y vibe to the collection. This tempered some of the more conservative ladylike pieces: prim skirt suits and dress coats in grey flannel, dark vertical stripes, tweed, and pastel checks. The latter print is sure to be a hit in stores and in magazines, particularly the pink check coat.
A word on fur: For a woman who last season showed flower-printed fur in a colorful palette (which both Anna Wintour and Anna Dello Russo were wearing front row today) Miuccia certainly changed track. This season she showed furs that were downright grandmotherly--classic brown mink coats, and grey fur cuffs at the sleeves of coats. This only added to the vintage, film noir feel of the collection, particularly when the mink coats were worn with the sheer evening looks, which also had rough, uneven hems.
Cathy Horyn tweeted that Miuccia called the collection "'raw elegance.' Plus the things she just likes." That sincerity behind the collection--that the clothes were things Miuccia loved, and not things she wanted to sell--was certainly felt in the audience.
A buyer recently remarked to me that she usually doesn't immediately like what comes down the Prada runway, but rather she has to warm up to it. Three months later, like clockwork, she's obsessed. And that's the beauty of Prada: She knows what we want even before we want it. So, you'll probably want to replace your statement furs and over-the-top footwear come fall 2013.