My experience at the Milan Fashion Week Prada show
It's been an eventful few days for me here at Shiny Towers. On Friday I got invited by LG electronics to accompany them to Milan for the Prada catwalk show at Milan Fashion Week, a coup they managed to pull off due to their collaboration with the fashion house in the creation of the mobile phone we've all been lusting after both here and at Shiny Shiny. This invitation not only earned me lots of angry glares from Gemma, Kim et al at Catwalk Queen, but many restless nights of sleep as I pondered what the bleeding heck I should wear. Take a look under the cut for many photos I took of the models parading down the catwalk, my thoughts on the show, and more importantly, what seats we got and what I ended up wearing! Eek! Otherwise, watch the video here I filmed, and if you like that, there's plenty more over on our Shiny Fashion channel at YouTube.
I've been to several fashion shows before, namely London-based ones, but had never been to anything equalling a Prada show, so had no idea what to expect. I received the invitation several hours prior to the event, and it was such a thrill seeing my name printed on the thick paper bearing Prada's logo. It was held in their Milan headquarters, in a big empty warehouse that had been arranged to resemble something out of A Clockwork Orange or a sci-fi film, with large black faux walls (orange on the inside) surrounding the catwalk. The catwalk was simply black paint dribbled over the concrete floor, shiny and smooth...it was an amazing sight. We arrived there about 6.10, a little late for the supposed 6pm start, but we weren't the only ones, the usual fash pack was congregated outside the door, with several burly Italian doormen shepherding them through. Now, I've been to many concerts, moshed to Metallica and other similarly hard metal/punk bands, but I never expected women clad head to toe in designer garb could be as pushy and physical as tattooed punk fans.
Once we got inside, we took our seats, which were amazing, we were on the second row right where the models entered and exited the catwalk, giving us the perfect viewing point. All around us sat fashionistas dressed in black, with many sporting fashionably large sunglasses. Indoors. Ahh yes, it had to be a fashion show in Milan!
I'd spent many days worrying over what to wear, and as much as I really wanted to be a bit different and wear a Primark or New Look dress, my instincts (ok, Gemma and Kim), told me to wear a striped satin Marc Jacobs skirt, black opaques and black boots, but I managed to retain some of my indie cred and wore a black button-up blouse from Matalan. Three cheers for daring to be different! And, of course, my darling Luella doctor bag graced my arm.
I was quite disappointed to discover just how identical everyone was dressed at the show. The women were kitted out in black skinny trousers or leggings with either black patent ballet pumps or Christian Louboutin 'Bruges'. Black fur coats clad their backs, the hair was long, many with fringes, and of course, the sunglasses stayed on right throughout the show. Naturally, as The Bag Lady, the first thing I noticed about anyone was what bag they carried, and I was fairly disappointed by how many old 'it' bags people still wore. The YSL 'Muse' was a popular one, as was Chloe's 'Silverado', Burberry's 'Manor', and anything by Jimmy Choo went down a treat. Most bags were patent to match their shoes, a trend I'm sure we'll see continue well into next Autumn.
Now, on to the important part, the clothes. I was expecting a lot of colour, after their last Fall/Winter collection, for 2006 debuted the same dull, drab colours Marc Jacobs and co. sent out, I thought Miuccia would change tactics and send a flurry of shades out on the catwalk, and luckily I was not disappointed there. Bright orange and greens were huge, the models changed outfits three times, with the first collection being composed of shapeless shift dresses and coats, all literally hanging off the extremely tiny frames of the models. Instead of normal armholes, slits through the heavy tweed material sufficed. These were matched with primary school-style grey cardigans, and some form of fur which resembled mohair, made into tops and skirts. Strange footless football socks in all colours of the rainbow finished the look off, with clunky horse hoof type shoes similar to what Balenciaga debuted a few years ago.
The next collection was a little startling, with nude vinyl dresses and coats leaving a lot to be desired. John Lennon sunglasses, crinkly organza coats and dresses, and sleeveless suits startled a fair few of us. Thankfully there were some lovely coats, albeit sleeveless, made from the most amazing shiny wool or tweed, I'd happily spend a few pounds on one of those next Winter. Then came the worst bit - it was like being sent back to grade 5 art class all over again, as models sauntered down the catwalk dressed in orange mohair skirts, black waistcoats made from what resembled the tape from the inside of a video cassette, strange woollen beanies, it was all far too much for my naive London eyes.
I think possibly the worst thing in the show was the hat hair. Yes, I'm serious, hat hair. It was obvious every model had had a helmet plunked down on her wet hair prior to the show, creating the most unsightly kink in their long flowing hair. Makeup was bare and minimum, and as expected, the models were deathly thin. What was funny, was after the show we went to a cocktail bar and restaurant, and several of the models from the show came in afterwards, and each ordered salads. One of them even indulged in a slice of chocolate cake! Of course, that prompted one of us to whisper to the table 'we all know what she'll be doing as soon as she finishes that cake, don't we!'
It was a great show, very entertaining, but I can't help but not take the fashion house seriously anymore. For a collection which was meant to be ready-to-wear, it was more couture as far as I was concerned, I'd be very interested to see how it all filters down to the high street in a year's time! Nonetheless, it was a great experience, and really made be crave one of the mobile phones Prada will be releasing in conjunction with LG next month. What was interesting was that the heavy industrial tones the models walked along to matched the industrial ringtones Prada selected for the mobile phone. Trust me on this one girls, this is one phone you won't want to miss out on!
I'll be writing up a story about this year's must-have phone soon - the LG Prada mobile, be sure to keep an eye out for it shortly! Whilst I mention it, I'd love to thank LG for sending me out to Milan for the night, it was a great time, but now makes me look at my wardrobe and cringe. Oh, how I'd long for the wardrobe of a Milanese fashionista!