MFW: PRADA F/W 2014

I can describe the Prada fall/winter 2014 fashion show in three words: Total sensory overload.

After last season’s artistically graphic wonderment, one knew it would be a challenge to come up with a show that would not pale in comparison. If anyone is up to that challenge, however, it is Miuccia Prada. She knows that her brand is only as good as her latest show and goes out of her way to make each season’s experience unapologetically unforgettable.

Start with a huge set, complete with orchestra pit and a live 13-piece ensemble and vocalist. Add a DJ/sound engineer to mix in additional instrumentation. Place sound baffling along the walls to aid acoustics. Have the ensemble play music by Kurt Weill and Arnold Schoenberg. An open bar with lovely canapes while waiting for the festivities to begin was a nice touch. Think Germany, before anyone thought of a war or mass genocide. Think Marlene Dietrich.

Now, cue the clothes. All 50 looks. Most fashion shows start and end in less than 15 minutes. This one took almost 25. There’s no way I can take the time to describe each piece, or even each general style group. I’ll give you a few highlights and you can find the full collection to peruse on your own at Style.com.

First, be ready for lots and lots and lots of coats. BIG coats trimmed in brightly colored fur. Flaming red. Burnt orange. Sunburst yellow. Rich violet. These are scattered all through the collection and some are quite huge so as to allow for multiple layers underneath.

Second, everyone gets a silk tie scarf. Everyone. Even the guys. Wrapped around the neck and tied on the side, then frequently tucked into a belt somewhere, or a strap, or whatever else is convenient to keep at least some of them from flapping in the breeze.

Third, wedge heels. Ladies, thank Ms. Prada for giving you sensible yet stylish shoes. I’m sure the models were extremely appreciative, considering the excessive amount of walking they had to do in this show. These are the kind of shoes that actually work in winter without having to schlump around in galoshes and then change when you get where you’re going.

Fourth, sheer skirts. There is a lot of variation as to what Miuccia puts under them. Sometimes the sheer overlays a slightly shorter silk skirt. Other times, the sheer falls over … your underwear. Prada has some suggestions, just in case you need to do laundry.

Fifth, long goat’s hair. The fabric appears five or six times through the collection, but the one getting most attention is the full-body red goat’s hair dress. Imagine if a Yeti were to dye itself cherry red. Yeah, that’s the look. Not my personal favorite, but it has practically generated its own life on Twitter.

Sixth, graphic prints. This one’s pretty much a given, isn’t it? After all, this is a Prada collection and Miuccia’s never been one for boring us with solid fabrics. This season they are largely geometric, as we’ve seen with other designers, but these are very bold and sometimes rather large and 100% Prada.

I could go on. And on. And on. But there’s a Moschino show next and they have giant chocolate bars on the seats, which I need to counter the champagne at Prada. Look over the collection. Try to not drool.

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