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Yet another collection exploring the concept of color—specifically cool, acidic hues. While I’ve been enamored with color lately, my two favorite looks weren’t bright in the least bit (it comes at no surprise given my propensity for palettes on the warmer side). Dove grey is a difficult color to pull off, but when it works, it works. It’s the perfect summer neutral; there’s enough of a contrast between the iciness of the shade and the warm bronze of tanned skin that one compliments the other.
There’s sensuality in the cuts—fabrics which move with the body, drapes that exposed shoulders and backs—but it’s all executed innocently. Girlishly. Prettily. Touches of sweetness for a childish take on fashion. A few reviews by fashion critics called it a collection that aimed at easy sexiness; I disagree. This is Lolita, grown-up, on a a Mediterranean cruise, seems to be the story behind Raul Melgoza’s show.
Pretty is back. I hesitate to say for good, but what I do know is this: pretty will always trump peculiar.
Prada is always a hit or a miss for me—it’s but a matter of personal taste—in that it toys around with ideas of pretty and peculiar from one season to the next. Miuccia Prada always knows exactly what she’s doing and never fails to both make a statement and leave an impact, and while those things translate well into the concept behind a specific collection, I can’t say it’s well executed in terms of the clothing themselves: perception of what aesthetically pleasing means differs from individual to individual. I do, however, admire Prada for always remaining true to her vision. She lets no societal norm dictate her direction.
Prada was pretty. It was sweet. Endearing, kind of like the large lollipops you used to buy as a little girl from a corner candy shoppe, because it referenced a decade of Pleasantville, ladlylike charm. It’s the 1950s exemplified and personified: soft pastels, pretty pleats, A-line skirts, Marilyn Monroe skirts, adorable prints and patterns. The iconography of the fifties was irresistible: naive Sandra Dee and her varsity-jacket-wearing boyfriend, dressed in a little cardigan and the sophisticated pinup clad in a bandeau and high-waist skirt.
Equally symbolic was the reference to a traditional notion whereby Italian men loved two things: their women, and their cars. Prada has quite the sense of humor: she combined the two, dressing models in car-emblazoned prints.
Always a favorite: she’s a woman who understands the woman, from her needs to her wants and desires. McCartney doesn’t sacrifice one for the other; there’s no favoritism at play. Instead, each collection showcases a compromise between a world of practicality and a world of aspirational fantasies. While some seasons slip under the radar, its seasons like this that just show that McCartney gets it.
Both she and the brand continue to grow from one show to the next.
Fall seems to be reserved for androgyny; spring/summer collections come out to play. This season especially embodies independence, confidence, and sexiness. It’s fun and fresh; not speaking in terms of youth, but in terms of athleticism. Sure you have to be fit to carry the minis worn by svelte models, but it was more strength than anything else, perhaps ingrained with the use of wave-like swirls (the first thing that came to mind was the Greeks and Mount Olympia; those patterns are reminiscent of the carved designs) and the ever patriotic red white & blue (evoking strength, etc.).
Those hemlines! Borderline promiscuous but disguised by the artistic flair; therefore, such short lengths are dignified. Mixed prints, white mesh, 3D, corded embroidery swirls give it a sporty edge—again dignifying the little numbers. Athletic always reads a bit more androgynous than your basic LBD; it makes sense. Sportswear—think dance, gymnastics, track, swim—celebrate the athlete’s body. There’s utmost respect for it and what it can do: no sexualization necessary.
So Stella does sexy. Sexy done sporty, so sexy is less overt and more appreciation for the feminine physique.
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