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Prada’s Cine Noir

Godfrey Deeny
June 23rd, 2009 @ 12:52 AM - Milan

Leave it to Miuccia Prada to come up with some properly new fashion in a Milan men's fashion season where the overriding impression is of designers tweaking their own previous body of work.

In a spring 2010 menswear season drenched and saturated with color, who but Prada would create a collection almost entirely devoid of precisely that.

From a black and white invitation made up of quotes from obscure movies, to a great new stage set of putty shade walls - with the same quotes in giant two-foot-high script - and the charcoal foam seating to the collection itself, largely made up of various takes on gray, this was as somber a summer moment as one could imagine.

“A movie, in black and white,” smiled Prada backstage, as a platoon of waiters floated around with the trays of the ideal, color coordinated, cocktail - a White Russian.

Yet, though restricted in color, this was also the most innovative of the Italian collections. Since Prada reworked her silhouette and tailoring to best sum up the new look emerging in Milan, where the jacket lapel is elongated to the belly button and even double-breasted looks have just two buttons. And forget about wearing this in a formal way - nearly all of this collection's brilliantly cut suits were worn with ragged edged silk, V-neck t-shirts.

The house's accessories department also had a smart take on the whole transparency trend of this four-day Italian season, sending out perforated leather shoes and pork pie hats and see-through dusters in a mesh nylon material more commonly associated with sneakers and fishing gear.

Moreover, Prada again out performed everyone in Milan in terms of staging. A half-dozen major labels now own their own show spaces here, but only Prada reinvents its locale every season, creating striking theatrical moments, such as this event, where the church-like proportions and performance art atmosphere had great élan.

When it comes to predicting the future of men’s fashion nobody quite compares to Miuccia Prada, the ultimate arbiter of what’s cool in Milan.

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