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Miuccia Prada Thinks Vertically for Spring

It was an exercise in stripes, embellishment and head-to-toe individuality.
A look from Prada's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from Prada's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

As soon as you entered Prada's show space, redesigned every season within the Italian house's Milan headquarters, your eyes went up. Hanging from the ceiling in an otherwise industrial, concrete room were huge, curved plastic sheets that had a striped texture. According to a press release, the installation was meant to "introduce the guests to a blurred horizon."

The sheets also mimicked the vertical seams and stripes (of alternating sizes and colors) in nearly every look. Lines were everywhere, in fact: printed like dashes all over a silk button-down, and woven into tweed skirt suits. Many of last season's '60s-inspired silhouettes were back, but without the sweetness. As she often does, Prada mixed colors many would describe as ugly — brown, dark orange, bright yellow, lime green.

Looks were haphazardly layered — oversized printed blouses and sweater vests with geometric patterns peeked out from underneath jackets; sheer dresses covered said sweater vests as well as tweed pencil skirts. Sequined and paillette-covered coats topped many looks. The quirky, unpredictable styling gave each model a sense of individuality, which was emphasized by statement accessories, like netting-inspired necklaces (if you can even call them necklaces) and dangling spherical earrings that seemed to float between the ears and the shoulders. The shoes featured strange heels and an excessive number of straps, but it worked. The bags were comparatively simple and commercial, many featuring a more evened-out version of the vertical stripes present throughout the collection.

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The beauty look also contributed to a strong sense of individuality. Inspired by both the '20s and '70s skinhead girls, lead stylist Guido Palau cut awkwardly thin bangs (or exaggerated baby hairs?) into the models' hair. He said backstage that he felt it was necessary to give the look a sense of authenticity, and to make an extreme statement. "It's about a strong woman who cuts her hair to create a style," he said. "The girls... they were not all happy about it. But part of being in the Prada show is embracing the work."

See the full collection below.