Prada Spring 2012 Review

Prada Spring 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Prada Spring 2012 collections

Show: Prada

Hair: Guido Paulo

Makeup: Pat McGrath

Accessories: Flame-heeled mule sandals, top-handle frame handbags, delicate antique-look gems set into jewellery and belts

Overall takeaway: Hot rods, hot chicks and hot fashion

Prada is always fashion in the fast lane, so it was probably only a matter of time before Miuccia Prada took the souped-up muscle cars of the American drag-racing circuit and pinned them to her mood board. But rather than just examining their form say, or siphoning off their metallic sheen for a range of boxy clutches, Miuccia Prada used the hot rod as a means of dissecting contemporary femininity. Sounds trite and overworked? It was nothing of the sort.

For Spring 2012, the Prada woman fuses herself with her automobile. Or rather, with a man's automobile—this was an examination of the objectification of women, Mrs. Prada recalling with a wry smile the Italian obsession with both. Yet the collection was also rooted in Americana, pleated skirts evoking Marilyn Monroe's bombshell curves colored in the pastel paint-box of Miami architecture. The dragster imagery leaped onto the dresses literally, by way of flame decals licking the hems of those sunray-serrated dirndls, yet more torching in three-dimensions up the high stiletto heels of the pointy-point mules.

Prada has often played with feminine stereotypes like this—one recalls her "Sincere Chic" collection of mid-calf printed skirts and neat sweaters, imbued with a bubbling undercurrent of sexuality so opaque and fleeting you weren't sure if it was just a mirage. There were similar feelings today, feelings of discomfort and disquiet, which is always the norm at Prada's most interesting sartorial offerings. Simultaneously, and uniquely, those intellectually-loaded clothes were immediately accessible, desirable and wearable—a perfect marriage of concept and commerce.