Miuccia Prada has always been one of the most interesting women in fashion. Perhaps due to her political past, there is an intelligence imbued in her collections that raises the bar and challenges the spectator to really think about the clothing, as opposed to just appreciating its beauty. For example, in this S/S 2014 show, there was an abundance of reference points - from graffiti artists to colour-blocking to the mysterious female faces that cropped up on both the invitations and the clothes themselves, the variation of looks and influences in the show was mind-blowing. The models themselves appeared to belong to different girl gangs, each marked according to their hair colour, and the set was designed by muralists from different countries - it was clear that there was an intellectual, at times political, undercurrent to this collection, but when juxtaposed with a massive pop soundtrack ('Work Bitch' by Britney Spears was Miuccia's soundtrack of choice), colourful embellishment and gorgeous clothing, the overall attitude was youth and, more importantly, fun!
In an interview given after the show, Miuccia intoned that she "wanted women to struggle" - a statement which sums up the feminist mission statement of the show. The fact is that women were omnipresent, featuring on the walls, on the coats and even on the accessories. The gangs were also representative of a number of strong female stereotypes - the hockey tube socks were a nod towards female athletes, whereas khaki utilitarian dresses were representative of women in the military. The collection was designed to show women in traditionally masculine roles - in essence, Britney's new song was the perfect soundtrack for an army of women to stride down the runway, with "you better work bitch" acting almost as a mission statement for women to continue to chase power.
Despite the feminist undercurrent, the vibrant colours and pop-art furs of the show were a breath of fresh air in fashion's currently minimalist climate. Jewelled bras were worn over bold embellished coats, bright yellow furs were decorated with multicoloured murals and the beauty look of the show saw the models walk the runway wearing streaks of fluoro eyeshadow. Ribbed hockey dresses were worn under sparkly shifts, and the fact that the footless hockey socks were a part of every look meant that there was no traditional depiction of 'elegance' to be seen. Instead, the looks were fun, fresh and (as is always the case with Miuccia), 100% original.