Every season when we look at the Prada collection we're conflicted. Is it gorgeous? Is it hideous? Miuccia traipses along the line between the two. Her clothes continually remind us of the French phrase "jolie laide" which translates literally as "pretty ugly". The French most often use it to describe women who are striking looking, with strong features, but not beautiful in a traditional way. Think Iekeliene or Daiane (or our favorite oldschool model Kristen McMenamy), not Hilary or Catherine. We think it makes sense to apply it to clothes that don't make you swoon like a swishing Valentino gown, but have their own knotty, complex charm. Clothes that challenge and even provoke, which entice and repel simultaneously. We think about our favorite cardigan, a bright yellow synthetic Comme des Garcons with misaligned seams. We deliberated in the store for ages, wondering if we really wanted to wear something the color of a highlighter. We do. And we think that by spring, we'll probably be wanting Prada's thrift store bargain bin prints-- Though we don't know if we'll ever warm up to the Terry de Havilland style shoes. --ANNA FIELDING GRIGGS
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