It’s doom and gloom this season on the runways with a post-apocalyptic world at Calvin Klein, technoprimitivism at Marni (some deep stuff there), a hint of climate change at Maison Margiela, and the protests and clashes of the 1960’s at Dior. But this is a reflection of where our society is right now. We can all feel it, sense it.

Most of us want to escape it at times, but these designers are intently looking at the issue – dissecting it, considering it, making visual and wearable art out of it. Permanently marking it in our timeline of history. And really, this is sometimes a much more enjoyable way to digest these messages rather than watching the incessant drivel on the 24 hour news cycle that is often politically biased. And to that point, read a couple well-written articles on reasonably objective news sites, and you’ll probably be much better informed with real, factual, objective information rather than just getting riled up by the craziness that keeps picking at tiny little details for weeks on end, starting major arguments by often incredibly uninformed and non-credentialed “experts”.

But I’ll step right down off this soapbox here. Don’t want to trip over my heels.

Miuccia Prada put out a collection that could have come straight out of Black Mirror or Electric Dreams. The inspiration started with the night and its adventures… both its freedoms and its limits. And for women, even if we are strong and powerful, or delicate and effeminate, we are not safe. Not really. But every woman should be, and Prada’s political statement as a fashion designer is that a woman should be able to dress sexy at night, and be safe in the streets, but she can’t.

And the runway opened with Anok Yai, a student from Howard University who was discovered on Twitter, and is the first black model to open for Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1997. Major life change for her, and a serious deal in the industry.

Model Anok Yai walking runway in black dress at Prada 2018 RTW show at Milan Fashion Week
Anok Yai

The resulting looks were the Prada famous nylon returning in high-tech sporty elements with an industrial utilitarian vibe. The color scheme was full electric neon drenched in highlighter popping in, under, and around black dresses, grey and brown tweed-like sets edging toward snow gear, and plaids.

“The idea is the constant struggle women have – a duality, between strength and having to protect yourself and what you like as a woman, such as sweetness and femininity,” noted the designer.

Dresses, jackets over pants, vests over skirts all had a relaxed to bulky silhouette in nylon and neoprene. The sexiest vibes came from strapless dresses with sheer necklines, shoulder-baring spaghetti straps and a peek of cleavage. But these were few and far between. But wow ladies, we can definitely see you, and it looks like a party.

The neon sheer overlays and tiki fringe read haute playful on some looks and just a little too home crafty on others. And as always, Prada is ahead of the curve when it comes to designer shoes. The athleisure market has some stiff competition with those sporty-meets-grunge platform boots.




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