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Milan, Fall 2006

Friday, February 24th, 2006
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, Ayyyyyyy! The Manolo he has fallen dreadfully behind in posting new information to this blog. He has been so very busy.

While the Manolo is getting his house in order, here is the astute assessment of this week’s show in Milan from the Papier Doll.

The look was composed of an unfussy monochromatic palette and baggy clothing, fitting the needs of the serious grad student who refuses having to be bothered with coordinating her wardrobe (because she has other things on her mind), and who demands comfortable, easy to wear clothing (but whose stylistic refinement wholly rejects sweatpants).

Collection Highlights

The bubbled jackets and skirts creates a voluminous form that presents the impression that the look is intentionally unkempt rather than unintentionally frumpy. Cinched waists (such a fall runway cliché by now) further indicate that the wearer is deliberate in creating a polished style.

Go look at the whole thing. There are pictures!

P.S. Do not worry, the Manolo he has not abandoned this blog. He will be back shortly with much more.

Prada Menswear Spring/Summer 2006

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, Ayyyyyyy! Our Muse the Miuccia she has again triumphed with her clothing for the men. Here is the article from the beautiful Samurai Suzy about her show yesterday in the Milan.

In her fresh, clean-cut show and in her wise words, Miuccia Prada put into perspective the malaise pervading high fashion menswear, which other Italian designers have tried to face off with vivid color and graphic pattern for summer 2006.

“Fashion should become more egalitarian. I am not interested in dealing with a few sophisticated people,” Prada said. “Crisscrossing everything is the main issue: the need to face the huge world and to appeal to new countries and new customers.”

So for Prada, Monday’s show was a stark return to basics: to the skinny silhouette, to fabrics treated with techno shine, to nylon work-wear, to hosiery-fine sweaters and to symbols to identify the label. And being Prada, with her penchant for a communist/populist aesthetic, that meant stars (but not necessarily red) printed on shirts, neckties or decorating the new must-have nylon backpack – along with hearts to put soul into a sober collection.

The result was a show of those perfectly judged and wearable clothes on which Prada built its empire. But the reprise did not include her much-copied brief coat, short boxy suits or sour colors. In fact, Prince of Wales tailoring was classic, and there was a wry sweetness to an aqua blue suit, to a dusty pink shirt or a moss green sweater. Pants with softening pleats offered a new cut.

Why is Prada so often ahead of the pack? Because she has an ability to invent new menswear classics as if they had always existed. After a few seasons of kooky effects, any piece of this show – and that includes the head-wrap hats – could have walked right out on silvered sneakers or smart leather shoes onto the Milan streets. It was fashion for the real world and for its future.

Manolo says, this it is exactly right, exactly the reason the Manolo he loves the Miuccia, she makes the clothes for the real world. Her aesthetic it is egalitarian, and mostly functional, and yet, at the same of the time, it is also classic.

Here are the few of the pictures from the show.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
This sweater and pants and shirt, they are to the mind of the Manolo, superb. Perhaps they should not belong in the Spring/Summer line, but they are beautiful, and completely wearable.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
Again, this it is fashion for the real world. This, it is the way the young men they would really dress, in this casual manner.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
The Manolo he would not pair this shirt with this suit, but then the Manolo he is sometimes the overly stuffy traditionalist. However, having said that, the Manolo he is in the love with this suit.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
This, as with many of the shirts in this collection, it is something that one could wear only if one was both young and very handsome. However, these pants, they would be suitable for one, like the Manolo, with the more traditional middle-aged male figure.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan

And finally, the appearance of our muse, peeking out from behind the curtain in her customary and charming pose.

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005
By Manolo

Here is a brief article from the Times of the Los Angeles regarding Miuccia’s recent show in the Milan.

After overdosing on color, prints and embellishment, black is back as quiet elegance returns to the runway. That was the message from Miuccia Prada, the undisputed leader of Italian fashion, at the beginning of Milan’s fashion week, which continued through Saturday.

From the very first look, a black slip dress with a lace hem, worn with chunky black sling backs, it was clear that this collection was intended to be a palate cleanser.

“I wanted to focus on the structure of the body and the cloth,” the designer said backstage.

“We saw too many prints and color, from myself included. I wanted to make the piece more important without all the decoration.”

The result was a strong case for grown-up minimalism in a palette of black, brown and camel. Emphasis was on construction and dressmaker details, while shoes and bags were mere afterthoughts.

Manolo says, this is a good analysis, although the Manolo he would not completely agree with the idea that this collection was the case for “minimalism”. If the pictures below are looked at, you can see that there is ornamentation, indeed the Hand of the Fatima, shows this.

This is not exactly the minimalism. Instead, the right words they are “restrained” and “sober”, the minimalism implies something sparer than the Miuccia she showed us

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The Post of Washington Cheers the Miuccia

Friday, February 25th, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here is the Robin Givhan of the Post of Washington on the Miuccia’s Milan show.

Only Miuccia Prada, in her signature collection, offered evidence that fashion can still be inspiring, that it can grow and shift its moods in almost an organic way.

Prada presented her collection Monday night in the industrial bareness of her loft space. It was a stripped-down, spare collection that was introduced with a single black dress, its beautiful seams sensually tracing the body. Evidence of this garment’s painstaking construction was clear. The essence of fashion — the fundamentals of assembly — was laid bare. This was not clothing that had been prettied up with a lot of flourishes, with ruffles, beads, sequins and the like. Here was a simple, pure aesthetic meal.

It is tempting to take the easy way out and to describe the Prada collection as minimalist, as an obvious swinging of the pendulum away from ornate clothes and toward something simpler. That is the way fashion tends to work, after all. Just when the industry gets consumers all juiced up for brooches and beadwork, it pronounces all of that over. But Prada is not that obvious.

These clothes are evidence of the way in which fashion can grow and evolve, of the way in which garments can reflect a designer’s confidence and innate sense of style.

Manolo says, one of the things that inspires the Manolo the most about the Miuccia herself is that she has the confidence in her own vision and abilities. She is the woman who clearly knows what she is capable of doing, of her own enormous strengths. There is the lesson in there for all of us.

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Cheering for the Miuccia

Thursday, February 24th, 2005
By Manolo

Prada Fall 2005

Manolo says, here is the Fashion Week Daily’s review of the Miuccia’s most recent show.

They stamped their feet and cheered at the end of the Prada collection Monday in Milan, where Miuccia Prada caught the fashion world off balance with a dramatic change in direction and a collection which will have the industry scrambling to catch up for some time.

After several seasons where she had made embellishment her mantra, Miuccia edited the whole Prada look back to its essentials – subtly chic fashion that whispered authority and style. In short these were clothes for modern movie stars who want self-assurance and status in their fashion, not sass and sex.

Manolo says, the idea that these clothes they were for the “modern movie stars” it is somewhat of the ridiculousness.

These they were not overtly glamorous clothes. Rather, as the Manolo keeps saying, they were serious clothes for the serious woman. The glamour, when it was present, it was the by product of the confidence of an adult woman in her element.

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More from the NY Times

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here is another paean from the Times of the New York to the brilliance of the Miuccia.

People don’t give Miuccia Prada enough credit. And, no, that is not meant as a gag. Certainly few who follow these things are unaware that Ms. Prada, whose latest collection, shown on Monday, was greeted with hosannas by critics and retailers alike, more or less single-handedly keeps this so-called fashion capital on the map. Her ability to simultaneously mine the past and plumb the mood of the cultural present should, at this point, be considered uncanny.


“Even in a quietly beautiful collection like this one, she is like a car that sideswipes you and gives you a jolt,” said Julie Gilhart, the fashion director at Barneys New York. “She makes you think and reconsider and wonder if there isn’t a deeper play on what she’s doing.”

That is not to suggest that Ms. Prada gives short shrift to the commercial nature of her craft. “We will sell every single look in that show,” Ms. Gilhart added, offering to show this reporter an annotated notebook that numbered and marked off virtually the entire Prada runway show. “In my entire history of taking notes, I’ve never done that before.”

What makes that bit of retail minutiae interesting is that runway shows rely for effect on shapes and split-second impressions. Take a closer look and Ms. Prada’s other and more interesting ambitions open up to view. Like the German artist Anselm Kiefer – whose monumental “Seven Celestial Towers,” an installation of enormous stacked structures made of concrete, lead and shattered glass, was on view at a hangar on the outskirts of Milan until a week ago – Ms. Prada often plays games with accretion and destruction. Both scavenge the culture for metaphors and motifs and wrench them from their expected frame.

Manolo says, Wow! Even the Manolo he would hesitate before comparing the Miuccia to someone like , but now that the comparison it has been put forward, the Manolo he cannot but agree that perhaps, maybe, possibly it is apt.

It is no secret that the Manolo he is loathe to put too much intellectual or cultural weight onto fashion.

Yes, the Manolo he loves the fashion, he lives for the fashion (and the shoes!), but he knows that the clothes of the most of the current designers, they will not support much in the way of the scrutiny. Their clothes are disposable and should be treated as such, as the ephermeral notions and fads they are. They may look good, but they do not speak to more than the shallowest of our emotions or thoughts.

This, it is what it is. Not everything needs to be profound. Indeed, most of the time it is sufficient for an item to be merely pretty.

But, at the same of the times, SOMETHING must be profound. And in the world of the fashion that single something it is the Miuccia.

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More of the Photos

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
By Manolo

Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005

Manolo says, Not all of these are exactly to the taste of the Manolo, but they are all nonetheless interesting.

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New York Times on the Milan Show

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here is the pertinent excerpt from the review of Miuccia’s show in Milan from the Cathy Horyn in the Times of the New York.

The astonishing thing about Miuccia Prada’s fall collection is just how much it has in common with the rhythm of modern language, whether the verse of Ezra Pound or the chilling clarity of Elfriede Jelinek, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004, whose novel “Women as Lovers” presents marriage as the end of youth and the beginning for women of a death throe that will last through years of looking after men.

Like the two seamstresses in Ms. Jelinek’s novel, Ms. Prada does a woman’s work, and being a wife and mother she can relate to the sometimes faulty promises of marriage and what women tell themselves for seeking the love of a good man. But the real point of comparison, and it is not so far-fetched, is how Ms. Prada uses fashion – stupid, dull, witless fashion -to express the power of modernism.

For the last two seasons, Ms. Prada has offered clothes that seemed overlaid with history, tweeds embellished with trinkets and charms that were pretty but in their way feminine clichés. More surprising, her clothes did not adequately reflect her interest in contemporary architecture – the shops she and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, have commissioned from Herzog & de Meuron or Rem Koolhaas, who was at her show tonight – or her support of contemporary artists.

Ms. Prada is aware of her responsibilities as a commercial designer; it is easier to sell clothes, as Ms. Jelinek might agree, that make women feel happy and contented rather than ambivalent and even potentially unnoticed. But there is no risk in that, and nothing that turns the fashion page, which is also her role as Milan’s sole agent of change.

Manolo says, this it is exactly what the Manolo has been trying to say in his humble, joke-filled blog, that the Miuccia she is the sort of designer who is the literate, thinking being. And her clothes they reflect her heightened sensibilities, and the way she is in tune with the concerns of this post-millennial age.

The Miuccia, she understands that we are now living in an age of seriousness, and that the adults, they should dress like the adults, not like the children. The Manolo he cannot but applaud this

Yet, others they are worried that the burdens of the adulthood, they weigh too heavily upon us. One of the Manolo’s many internet friends has anonymously left a very intelligent comment below. The Manolo he has copied it here for us to now consider.

My concern with Prada is the grim sensibility of it all, personified by these models. Is dressing adult always so sad? Can’t one look classic without showing that one is carrying the weight of world? Intellectuallism without light does not move us forward

Manolo says, this comment it is quite astute, and shows the sort of intellectual approach to the clothing that the Manolo he appreciates, yet, at the same of the time, the Manolo he does not agree with it in the case of the Miuccia.

Yes, the young models they are frowing, but this it is what the models they do on the runway. And yes, the clothes themselves, they are clothes of seriousness, and the blacks and the dark browns they predominate, but at the same of the time, they are not without color, and there are nods towards the humor.

The Manolo he does not accept the description of these clothes as “grim”, rather they are “serious”.

It is, as the Manolo hopes he himself proves, possible to be both happy and have the seriousness of purpose at one and the same times. These things they are not imcompatible, it is simply the matter of everything having the proper place and the proper time.

This is what the Manolo loves about this trend, and about this collection from the Miuccia, they are serious clothes. And the serious clothes allow us to be serious when the time it is proper to be serious.

Sadly this is the option that has for too long been foreclosed to us, as the designers they have focused on the frivolous.

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s friend the Lisa for pointing him to this article.

Milan in the News

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here’s two articles about the Miuccia’s show in the Milan. The first it is from the AFP.

Miuccia Prada conjured up a ready-to-wear collection for autumn-winter 2005-06 that had a decidedly couture feel and reminded the Milan fashion crowd that basic black is always chic.

Like British film director Alfred Hitchcock, the Italian designer — whose show capped Monday’s presentations — likes women who hide their passionate personalities beneath an icy veneer.

Her stone-faced models, sporting high heels and showing a bit of leg, cut a pure silhouette on the Milan catwalk that recalled the deceptively complicated couture designs of the legendary Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga.

Prada’s seemingly simple black and brown coats and dresses were in fact wonders of construction with straight or puffed out backs, narrow sleeves and nipped waists. Each was given a bit of volume with careful tucks and pleats.

Manolo says, this review it is pretty close to what the Manolo saw in this show, the retro feeling of the 50s and early 60s, and the strong influence of the Balenciaga.

Here is the second article from the Telegraph one that notes that the Miuccia she has decreed the return of the color black.

If there is one woman in the world who can state with conviction that “black IS the new black” it is Miuccia Prada.

She made that pronouncement after her stark and simple autumn/winter 2005/2006 collection at Milan Fashion week last night. No matter that she was wearing a white cotton shirt-dress with red high-heeled shoes at the time; perversity is part of Prada’s charm.

“Black is a very important colour and it is coming back. After a while you get fed up with colour and print,” she said. “Now it is time to be serious. Less fun, no frills. Last year we used fashion to escape from our problems. Now, we need to be more realistic and show ourselves to be more substantial.”

Manolo says, the Manolo he cannot but applaud this retrurn to the fashions of the adult.

The Hand of Fatima

Monday, February 21st, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here the the couple of the items from the Prada show in Milan today on which the Manolo he is not too keen.
Prada, Milan 2005Prada, Milan 2005

Manolo says, the cut and the material of the clothes they are wonderful, but in the both of these the Manolo he does not like the positioning of the “Hand of Fatima” over the breasts.

One of the particular joys of the fashion, it is when the new clothes they appear on the runways, and we have the opportunity to study them and comment upon them, to “read” them. This joy, it is compounded when the designer is, as the Miuccia is, especially intelligent and thoughtful.

Even though the Manolo he does not, at the first look, like this Hand of Fatima, he now will enjoy the debate over the intentions of the Miuccia, over the process of puzzling out the thoughts of the Miuccia.

Manolo says, for the Manolo the best of the fashion designers their work is as provacative as the work of the great literature.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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