Head Precariously Over Heels at Prada

There was not enough prosecco in all of Milan to save this day. it began bright and early with the Moschino show at 9 a.m. I will not bore those who have read this blog before with my ranting about how shows here begin inexplicably late. The Moschino show, the first of the day, began almost an hour late, thus causing a domino effect on a schedule that had shows planned every 45 minutes.

Sometime around 9:30, one of the folks who works at Moschino came along to say hello. I smiled as best as I could and immediately demanded, "What's the hold up?!" After she cursed me with her eyes, she mustered a polite: I'll go check. And then she didn't come back.

When the show finally started, it was an attack of the ruffles. One model wore a jacket, or perhaps it was a top, that swallowed her entire torso in one giant swirl of a ruffled rose.

There were a few charming dresses, including one in turquoise that had a wonderful vintage-shop feel thanks to its crushed rows of ruffles. But the models' hair - simultaneously ratted and curled - was a distraction and the cat-eye makeup didn't do them any favors.


Stumbling along during the Prada runway show in Milan. (Courtesy of Prada)

It was a race against the clock after the Moschino show. Folks were galloping across town and dashing into shows that were starting an hour late or worse. It was impossible to know how late was going to be too late to arrive at a show and how early was going to mean two hours perched on an uncomfortable bleacher.

I ended up missing the Bottega Veneta show because all the time I'd set aside in the afternoon to write disappeared thanks to a schedule turned topsy-turvy. The designer, Tomas Maier, said in his collection notes that he was experimenting with volume and architecture and it was one of the most complex collections he has ever created. I'll have to wait until it arrives in stores.

As we were zipping through town we passed the facade of the new Giorgio Armani hotel on via Manzoni. Actually, it was more like a banner announcing the planned hotel. I have visions of beige rooms, with beige sheets and beige carpeting and a concierge staff in beige uniforms wearing odd hats and looking like something out of "Zoolander." But I'm sure it will be much, much more chic than that because Mr. Armani is worth a zillion dollars. And I am not.

I will have much more to say later about the Prada show. But I must note here that one of the mysteries of the fashion industry is why female designers put models in shoes with heels so high that they are an abomination. The shoes at the Prada show - sky-high heels on a straw platform and worn with little Peds-like socks - were impossible to maneuver in. Models were tumbling over and those who managed to remain upright were so tense that their fearful posture was a distraction from the clothes.

I desperately wanted Mrs. Prada to come out for her bows wearing those crazy shoes. Call me vindictive, but it only seemed fair.

By Robin Givhan |  September 24, 2008; 7:40 AM ET Milan
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