Friday 22nd February

| BY Claudia Croft

Prada: Ready-To-Wear AW19

Monstrously good. That’s the best way to sum up Prada AW19. Anyone sitting too comfortably on the foam benches that lined the catwalk got the jolt of their life with the first look out. A black wool bustier dress, swagged and draped in the mode of conventional femininity. Look closer though and the dress was pierced with industrial D rings (a fetish favourite) and worn with black tractor-soled aggro boots that came with miniature coin purses attached. The soundtrack (angry, ear shredding goth-gabber) only added to the sense of fabulous discombobulation. What was going through Mrs Prada’s brain when she created a collection which married feminine romance (a rose appliqué prom dress) with Marilyn Manson’s sinister chic?

Lady-like silhouettes (a gorgeous off the shoulder cocktail look) were utterly subverted by Prada’s choice of fabric (heavy tweeds) or the liberal addition of army uniform pockets and D rings. The toughness was underlined with an epic nylon Prada Sport section of the show, featuring cultish, khaki army coats and jackets. Wednesday Adams’ severe, skinny braids provided the hair-spiration and if you are looking for Instagram catnip, the film still motif of Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in the 1935 seminal horror movie The Bride of Frankenstein, which appeared on dresses and knits, will do nicely. The final looks – swagged lace and taffeta cocktail dresses worn with incongruously fierce aggro boots (there’s already a waiting list) seemed the perfect after-dark solution in a world on high alert. Romance and horror, toughness and tenderness this Prada collection has it all. Bravo!

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.