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Prada’s Perfect Round

Godfrey Deeny
June 19th, 2011 @ 3:14 PM - Paris

Golf, not a sport that one instantly associates with fashion, was nonetheless the inspiration behind the latest Prada men’s fashion collection, presented in Milan on the very same afternoon as the U.S. Open was drawing to a climax on Washington’s Congressional course on the other side of the Atlantic.

Though at first sight the sport might appear to many the very epitome of bourgeois conformity, in the eyes of designer Miuccia Prada its protagonists are marvels of unconformity.

“When you look at how many professional players actually dress they are actually pretty weird and wonderful. Maybe the very pressure of playing big matches creates this excess. But these men can really dress pretty bizarrely, and I love that” enthused Prada to FWD after presenting her brand’s spring 2012 collection on a rambling catwalk made of artificial grass on Sunday, June 19.

Attired in flat caps worn backward like Swedish golfing great Jesper Parnevik, and kitted out in multi-colored, spiked and tasseled golf shoes, the models weaved around the faux grassy surface.

And as the show progressed the Prada pros got increasingly playful, especially in their choice of trousers – composed of wacky Liberty style prints of fruit cocktails, British Sixties comics and surfer fanzines. Plus a whole Bagger Vance theme rifled through this collection, in particular some window-pane check shorts and retro silk/cashmere cardigans.

Moreover, the reigning queen of Italian fashion also added in a Western twist of her own – like Cowboy shirts with curvy breast pockets bedecked in fake jewels. Last year, Prada ignited a giant global trend when she covered men’s brogues and wingtips in silver studs, this collection will almost certainly have a similar effect when it comes to showering summer tops and tasseled shoes with fake rubies and garnets. And, we would not be surprised if Prada’s choice of saturated bright colors for the soles of her golf shoes did not become a trend in professional shops in major clubhouses on the golfing circle either.

In a beautiful crafted display, Prada balanced the peculiar novelties with an opening and finale featuring surgically cut tailoring, from sleek four-button double breasted jackets to slim and pleated pants.

Though, when this reviewer complimented the designer on her impeccable timing of showing golfing chic at almost exactly the same time when the first players were beginning their final round in the U.S. Open, she shook genuinely surprised.

“I had no idea, as to be honest I don’t actually like golf. But I feel that its eccentricity is liberating and joyful, which is what a lot of you men really need more of right now in your gray lives,” laughed Prada, as she downed a glass of prosecco.

Call it Signora Prada’s latest stylistic hole in one.

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