A MATTER OF TASTE
“I ALWAYS LOVED AESTHETICS. NOT PARTICULARLY FASHION BUT AN IDEA OF BEAUTY. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE DIFFERENT” anti-it. Well, Prada was It, but being too cool to be called it went beyond It. And as its feisty leader Miuccia leapt ahead, she re-textiled the formal aesthetic with experimental materials such as plastic, Plexiglas, paper and crochet. And her default mode was, and still is, deconstruction—of beauty, of expectation, of techniques, of the market, and, most particularly, of herself (she was born Maria Bianchi Prada in 1949). Miuccia Prada pleases herself. She makes what she wants, when she wants, as an inner vision of herself. Women who wear Prada wear it to please themselves, not others. And the outside world of fashion, with its followers and detractors, correspondingly genuflects or gyrates to the arc of her obsessions.
And yet, despite being so impossibly cult, there’s no collective term for Prada followers— no Pra-ficionados, Pradames, Pras, Prads, Pradandies, Pradadists, Pradamazonians or Pradators. A deceptive strength. The cult of one. As much a Prada universe, the Mrs and her followers create their own identity, an individual you-niverse.
At times, Prada can feel like the closest aesthetic the West has to Japan and Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons; Mrs has admitted being influenced by Kawakubo’s “intelligence over sexuality” and how the latter debunks received notions of beauty. Prada has also acknowledged sharing Karl Lagerfeld’s “no beauty without strangeness in the proportions” school of design.
In Italy, Prada can feel like the desecration
COMMON AND COMPLEX MATERIALS ARE RECAST AS LUXURIES IN THE DIORAMA EXCESSIVITY. WHICH BEGS A QUESTION: WHEN IS TOO MUCH NOT ENOUGH?