You can look at the fashion set in two ways: those who jump when the market says, "Jump!" and those who invented the word "jump" in the first place. Miuccia Prada falls into the latter. Her ability to design so far ahead of trends and set the pace of what's to come makes her not only a retail superstar, but a visionary. It's a hard duality to balance, much less dominate, in both, but part of her genius is her upmost confidence that her own brand of cool is the best.
Tube-sock ribbing, legwarmers, and flocked carpet coats might not be everyone's jam, but it sure does appeal to a specific subset of oddballs that still dress a little bit like you're playing dress up when getting dressed each morning. Sequined harnesses in the shape of bras worn on top of coats and dresses, crafty plastic blossoms, and beautiful mural-type portraits on the simple, layered shift dresses were fanatically imaginative — and we have a feeling that those tube-sock legwarmers will be just as big a hit this year as those colorblocked toeless socks from fall '07. More easily palatable (or palette-able, depending) might be the inventive color coordinating — the mix of primary hues like deep blues and rich reeds with dusty hues like rose and lapis was genius.
If last season's Prada was all about a mature sexuality, this collection was about an optimistic, comically naive sexuality. Sometimes, dressing up shouldn't have to be about dressing for a reason any other than to have fun in what you're wearing — a habit many of us have long forgotten.