Thursday, 19 January 2012

Prada Parade

Garrett Hedlund, Emile Hirsch, Adrien Brody, Tim Roth, and Jamie Bell

Everyone needs a little pick-me-up at this point in the week and I'd be lying if I said this didn't make me slightly gooey.  Men's fashion can pass me by, but occasionally something comes along which gets me excited and the Prada Autumn/ Winter Show was one of those moments.  It described by Count..sorry, Gary Oldman as "two-minute theatre - a short blast of performance."

One of the many things I love about this (as a Victorian specialist) is that these clothes wouldn't have looked out of place a hundred years ago.  And it wasn't just the clothes that were of a certain vintage. Adrien Brody, Gary Oldman, Tim Roth and Willem Dafoe were among the actors cast by the company to stalk charismatically across an enormous, scarlet shagpile carpet in sober suits and double-breasted, high-revered overcoats - borderline frock-coats - that would not have been out of place circa 1890.

Gary Oldman reckoned his outfit - dominating magisterial black overcoat with insignia at the chest - was "a little bit count Dracula".  Adrien Brody's coat was a richly patterned scarlet number, with a two-toned furry collar. In it, he said, he acted the role of "an evil ruler - a dictator. I felt like there was a bit of 'off with your head about him'." He din't even crack a smile at the end unlike William Defoe who had looked quite scary until then and Garrett Hedlunch (Achilles/Brad Pitt's nephew who gets killed in Troy!!) who was clearly enjoying himself the entire time.  Jamie Bell - who confessed that (not quite) rubbing shoulders with professional models made him realise quite how short he is - bless him!

Across the geometrical scarlet shagpile strode models (real ones at first) wearing expressions that were variously shifty, haughty or sly in trench coats, grey suits, shoes with galoshes-style rubber attachments and shirts from which sprouted up-to-the-chin polo necks. It was a tailoring show, although I did feel a bit sorry for the two chaps who appeared to be in tennis shorts with an overcoat..always a tricky look for the Modern man.

It was also, said Prada afterwards, "about elegance and powerful dressing. I was working on man power. So this was a palazzo of power... we started with this idea of a mis-en-scene of the people in the palace. Spies, any kind of people who are living in the palace of power." And before you conclude that Prada is advocating dictator-dress next winter (which I'm on board with by the way), she added: "Also for me it was a parody of man power. It was not ironic - it was nasty."

These chaps can walk over my carpet any day


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