Nicole Phelps, Global Director of Vogue Runway
Miuccia Prada’s fall 2013 show is seared in my memory, partly because it was so cinematic (the music from Betty Blue played on the soundtrack and videos were projected onto the walls) and partly because it was so sexy, which was rather against-type. She’s the woman who dreamed up ugly chic, after all. Of course, there’s nothing conventional about Prada’s sexy. Only she could make boiled wool look sultry. I defy you to find a woman who was there who didn’t want to be Cat McNeil in this peeling-off-the-shoulder dress.
Mark Holgate, Global Network Lead and US Fashion Features Director
Pick your favorite Prada collection, they asked, and my response is: Where do you even start? So I decided to start at the start—well, my start, which would be spring 1995. I was already well aware of the brand before that, but something about this particular show really caught my eye—and captured my heart. I mean, that opening look: Naomi, in a stricter-than-strict black suit, cinched even closer to the gods with a white webbing belt, which was centered with a gleaming logoed silver buckle. Then onto nylon dresses, transparency, industrial strength zippers, rib knits, and purses that would have been really truly prim if it weren’t for their plastic-y sheerness—and all this worn by a hyper mid-’90s cast of Kate, Linda, Brandi, Trish, Shalom, Amber, and Nadja. Prada Spring 1995 is to me absolute perfection, a primer of what an era-defining vision of minimalism could mean in terms of looks and ideas and ultimately creative longevity. It so moved me that around the same time it appeared I scraped together the money, fresh out of college and living on a shoestring in London, to venture into the Browns boutique on South Molton Street to buy a Prada men’s black neoprene coat. The sales assistant I bought it from asked me out on a date. I didn’t end up going on that date, and I sadly no longer have the coat, but I have never lost my love for this collection.