Prada Fall 2012 Review

Prada Fall 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Prada Fall 2012 runway.

SHOW: Prada (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKEUP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: Frame handbags in leather and printed fabric, towering platform spectator-pumps coated in rubber with jewel embellishment, scarves wrapped high on the throat

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Miuccia Prada remakes beauty; in her own image

Pure pleasure-seeking—given fashion is really about selling us all things we don't really need but want anyway, it's unusual that unbridled pleasure is rarely the motivation behind it. Or at least designers don't admit to it. Not so Miuccia Prada: her Fall 2012 collection was a pleasure trip, pure and simple. No hokum, no conceptual hijinks, just beautiful clothes beautifully done.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and the creator here as well. Prada's geometric pantsuits were pulled from her "Ugly" collections of the mid-nineties, the graphic squares recalling '60s psychedelia, and '70s wallpaper (the inevitable trickle-down of the flower child decorative explosion). But today there is a kind of beauty to them, and to the jewel-encrusted black tailcoats, trousers and open-front pinafore dresses festooned with baubles. In fact, they were just unabashedly beautiful.

Does that mean this collection was Prada on hold? Kind of. It felt like a moment of retrenchment rather than Miuccia pushing our buttons and shoving us over the edge. Then again, sometimes it's a relief to take a moment, smell the roses and indulge in Prada's vision of twenty-first century beauty. Be careful: it won't last longer than a season.