Miuccia Prada is one of those women that just gets us. "Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer," she once told The Telegraph. She's a feminist, an activist, and, above all, an artist — which might explain why she's been a consistent champion of up-and-coming talent as collaborators on her runway collections. For spring 2014, she commissioned set murals from Gabriel Specter, Angeleno Miles “El Mac” Gregor, Stinkfish, Mesa, Jeanne Detallante, and Pierre Morne, which were subsequently printed onto items of clothing; for fall 2016, she teamed up with Berlin-Based Christophe Chemin to create a series of prints. And when vintage-looking images of women were sent down the brand's latest runway in the form of skirts, tops, and mini dresses, we knew Prada was up to her old tricks. According to Vogue, the fall 2017 offering featured "a series of prints pulled from paperback novels of the ‘60s, drawn by renowned illustrator Robert E. McGinnis," who is responsible for the movie posters of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Live and Let Die, and Barbarella, among others. "Looks 30 to 34 featured McGinnis’s depictions of bombshells in various states of alluring undress, each featured on the covers of mid-century books by Brett Halliday (and one by Erle Stanley Gardner) with salacious titles like Murder and the Married Virgin and Never Kill a Client," Vogue adds.
The meaning is significant, of course, like everything Prada touches. “These women are beautiful but they are also killers,” she told Dazed of the drawings. But beyond that, the focus on women, the beauty, the power, the strength, the influence of women was omnipresent, from a backdrop poster that read, “fashion is about the everyday and the everyday is the political stage of our freedoms. We have decided to look at the role women have had in the shaping of modern society,” to its most literal source of inspiration: Federico Fellini’s La Città Delle Donne (or, City of Women). Beyond the McGinnis imagery, the collection as a whole examined the female art and power of seduction: crochet bras worn as tops, spaghetti strap dresses reminiscent of nightgowns, skirts with super-high, mid-thigh-high slits. Feathers were aplenty; oversized, colorful knits, too. Though less traditionally "sexy," there was something inviting about Prada's take on, say, a chunky cardigan sweater. Perhaps Miuccia just knows what we'd really like to go to bed in?