When the first couple of looks at this year's Prada AW17 runway show emerged from backstage, my heart sank a little - seventies-style brown cords with homespun-looking crochet bikini tops and knitted?rasta hats seemed light years away from the eclectic sophistication Muccia Prada presented last year. I wanted more of her smart separates pieced together with imagination and flair, her exquisite mismatched prints and creative texture combinations.
It took eight looks before my heart skipped a beat and I realised that the doyenne of Italian design hadn't let me down. These gorgeous mohair-blend embroidered separates, featuring all my favourite earthy shades, (plus a pop of powder pink to keep things interesting) were the beginning of what was another masterful lesson by the 67-year-old in how to create clothes that challenge, excite and ultimately convince women they absolutely must buy.
The Prada AW17 outerwear was a highlight for me, from a petrol blue biker jacket with oversized lapels and embroidered front panels to a stunning teal and yellow leather coat, with rivet embellishment and fringing. The plaid and floral-print coat with peachy fur trim felt utterly fresh.?Although it drew?heavily on the past with its?traditional check and almost granny chic-style print, it was as contemporary as the snakeskin knee-high boots it was paired with.
Accessories are always a point of interest, and difference, at Prada. Oversized clutches in unexpected textures like wool, and chunky satchels with fur-trimmed handles stood out, while more traditional type shoulder bags were toughened up and given added interest with horizontal lines of gold rivets. Prada is always a runway show I like to look at several times over, because there's simply so much to absorb. Each time, something new sparks my interest - a button detail, an embellished cuff or collar, the buckle of a shoe. With another collection due in only seven months, there's so little time and so much to see!