Prada: The Complete Fashion Collections (Catwalk)

Image of Prada: The Complete Collections (Catwalk)
Release Date: 
October 22, 2019
Yale University Press
Reviewed by: 

For any devoted fashion reader or fashionphile who worships at the holy altar of Miuccia Prada and her eponymous brand, Prada, here is your Holy Grail, Prada: The Complete Fashion Collections.

Covering over 30 years of collections the text theoretically offers the context for each collection, but since signora Prada fancies herself an intellect, the verbiage comes off a bit high handed and philosophical rather than merely contextual and descriptive.

At any rate we get over 600 pages of pure unadulterated Prada, warts and all. What is so fascinating is reading that each collection starts out as a discussion and a concept since Prada does not sketch or drape. Susannah Frankel has proffered text that can be a tad weighty for a fashion tome—especially if the reader does not understand, agree with, or specifically accept Ms. Prada’s vison of fashion.

For instance, “And so the tension between, and exploration of, perceived ugliness and its supposed opposite, beauty—fashion that jarred with what the audience was used to seeing and that pushed boundaries . . . began to come together.” Huh?


Sadly, this reader’s memory has never forgotten an interview that Ms. Prada gave several years ago in which she states, in so many words, that her job is not  to make women look beautiful. She certainly is a woman of her word.

“The clothes upheld the utilitarian uniform shapes and colors with which she made her name in the nineties, now fused with sportswear detailing in bright primaries,” and yet ask any follower of fashion what color they think of first when the brand is Prada, this reader is betting black is the most likely reply.

For those who love Prada and its esthetic/design, this is a book that will make you gush. It should be considered the quintessential encyclopedic book of Prada. The images are perfectly reproduced from the catwalk, and each collection/chapter includes the essential information that is supposedly the modus operandi for that particular collection. So, if you fall into the category of either Prada addict or trend watcher, this is an absolute must to own.

In many ways Prada is fashion success story in which a sleepy, old world Italian brand morphs into one of the most highly respected and ubiquitous names within the fashion world. And it is all due to Ms. Prada, who claims she has no interest in fashion.