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    Five weeks ago Miuccia Prada presented a men’s collection that took as its starting point the story of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s monstrous, rejected, lovesick antihero. In that show Prada included a smattering of women’s looks from her Pre-Fall collection, as she is wont to do: utility-strapped and pocketed cocktail frocks, crystal-embroidered shirtdresses constrained by leather harnesses, combinations of graphic rose prints, wacky lightning bolts, and loose-gauge knits. In their quirky and bold juxtapositions of pedigrees, details, and textures, those clothes were indeed “Frankensteinish” and all the more compelling for it. (She also gave Gigi a feathery shag for the night, and boy did that spark a thousand snips!) Tonight Miuccia Prada continued her exploration of Shelley’s canonical invention, this time giving him a bride (literally, on a sheath dress worn by a bleached-browed Cara Delevingne) and positioning him at the center of a larger sociocultural critique of our times, which she feels are defined by “romance and fear.”

    First, one must note that it was a fearless decision on Prada’s part to show a women’s collection that did not come as a total surprise to its audience. There are many in fashion for whom the Prada show is like Christmas is to children who haven’t yet learned they can influence Santa: surprises abound! Why does the set have spiky foam floors? Why does the hair resemble Wednesday Addams’s? And who ever thought to record a violin cover of “Bad Romance”? Some people love Prada because they want to be gobsmacked, dazzled, schooled, and basically aesthetically woken up in the slumber that is Fashion Month. But those folks forget one thing: Miuccia is a serious person and one who is right now very concerned about European conflicts, wars, and the threat of war more generally. That is all she wanted to talk about postshow. And those sorts of thoughts and the creative impulses they give rise to don’t change in five weeks just because the industry prefers novelty. It’s simply not that moment.

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