Miuccia Prada’s collections set the standard for the industry in so many ways. Her runway shows, model castings, and ad campaigns are hugely influential season to season. She spoke to WWD:
“I’m tired of minimalism,” Prada said before her show. “I asked myself, ‘How can I do minimal Baroque?’”
If she’s tired of minimalism, it stands to reason many other designers will be tired of it next season, too. That might please critics, who loved her spring 2011 collection that walked in Milan yesterday, and featured literal banana prints, neon fur stoles (for spring! How novel!), and baroque monkeys that kind of look like the monkeys that come in that kids’ game Barrel of Monkeys. In fact, critics can hardly seem to stand how good she makes them feel, and the reviews pouring in from Milan have reached a whole new level of worship.
WWD compares her genius to Charles Darwin:
Those frolicking monkeys were just two of the many pictorial primates, so how could one not think Darwin? No, Prada has not, is not, will not redefine our entire view of the history of life. But she has dramatically impacted the modern view of fashion for 20 years. She is a species of one that adjusts almost instantly to the stimuli around her and what she senses ahead. As a result, what she has to say never seems useless or old. And like every species that survives into the next era, she shrewdly retains the mundane essentials, even if she’s too clever to trot them out on the runway, which she reserved for more evolved fashion wonders.
Daily Front Row finds her effect pleasurable in the same way sex is:
The almost confusing variety elicited audible pangs of desire in the front row … and just a few frowns.
Style.com applauded Miuccia’s boldness and “severe” sensuality:
But there was also more than enough of Prada’s twisty-ness to boost this collection into her already chock-full pantheon of greats… This time around, however, the glamour was raw, amplified by the pop-colored stoles the models were toting, the graphic silent-movie makeup by Pat McGrath, and the severely sensual outfits in basic black that closed the show as the soundtrack crackled with the static of an old tango record. Miuccia’s message was crystal-clear.
Suzy Menkes thought the collection was “perfect”:
As the cheers rang out for this exceptional collection, the audience knew that nothing in fashion is so difficult to achieve as a powerful idea perfectly executed.
Cathy Horyn reminds us those monkeys weren’t ironic so much as intellectual.
Baroque monkeys probably appeal less to Ms. Prada’s sense of humor than to her appreciation of history, and her way of bringing it forward in fashion.
I also liked the last few dresses in the show — black cotton with a pie-crust ruffle at the neck and elbow-length sleeves. It’s the little black dress revised.