Milan applause boosts Prada revival hopes

Prada’s hopes of turning around its flagging fortunes were bolstered on Thursday when designer Miuccia Prada’s latest womenswear collection was given a warm reception at Milan fashion week. The spring-summer 2017 catwalk show was hosted against the backdrop of a multi-screen film installation.

Prada – Spring-Summer2017 – Womenswear – Milan – © PixelFormula

The silent dreamscape of what Prada called a “cinema poem” set a somewhat sombre tone — but the collection ended to the upbeat sound of loud and sustained applause from the audience of buyers, bloggers and assorted others.

That would have been music to the ears of executives at a company which has been hit hard by a slowdown in Asia but vowed last month that 2017 would be a year of e-commerce-led revival.

Prada – Spring-Summer2017 – Womenswear – Milan – © PixelFormula

The collection that will be tasked with leading that revival featured models sporting 1920s-style bobs strutting down a metallic catwalk in flat sandals decorated with ostrich feathers.

Colourful feathers of all kinds abounded on collars and cuffs.

There were some checked mannish jackets but also lots of hot pants and micro-minis.

In one of the most most memorable looks, black belted hotpants were paired with a bra top worn over a checked blouse, itself covering a black rollneck.

Prada – Spring-Summer2017 – Womenswear – Milan – © PixelFormula

Bags were clutched close to the models like precious papers.

Prada chairman Carlo Mazzi forecast last month the company would return to sales and earnings growth in 2017 after taking the scissors to its cost base.

That bullish prediction was issued after first half sales fell 15 percent and the company has set itself the ambitious target of doubling online turnover in each of the next three years.

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