such is the potency of miuccia prada's vision that she is able to drastically shift direction from one season to next and never lose that inimitable factor that stamps her signature into everything she produces. abandoning the uber-urban aggressiveness of the past few seasons, her combined presentation for her men's fall 2010 and women's pre-fall collections saw prada revisiting some of the references that helped form the hallmarks of the brand during the nineties. this collection echoed much of england in the early seventies in the colour palette and geometric prints which ranged anywhere from abstract camouflage to three dimensional diamond shapes, to smart jackets worn over shrunken knits that gave it a sense of boyish naivete that gave a lot of her early menswear collection its inherent charm. it still retained the same youthfulness of her previous efforts, but after two consecutive seasons where all we saw was black, grey, and white on a predominantly narrow silhouette, to see this collection maneuvered around a serpentine runway with a soundtrack that was as erratic as the numerous video presentations on the wall with models coming out in groups reminiscent of helmut lang's old runway presentations, it was somewhat hard to dilute the clothes from the environment it was shown in. it didn't make sense. but then again when does prada ever make sense at that moment? its all the paradoxes, the little peculiar quirks such as the double collars on coats and shoes with a flapping tongue and her obsession with challenging herself by using fabrics she has no affinity for, which this season was moleskin, that she somehow manages to amalgamate together that eventually will form into a clear picture a little while after for everyone else. and then suddenly it's influence is omnipresent.
military inspired looks always surface with every menswear collections. it has become one of the most dominant sartorial influence in the western world where epaulets, brass buttons and pea coats have become iconic pieces in every man's wardrobe. masataka matsumura also chose to go with the military vein, but it was his homeland's historical soldiers the samurai where the designer drew inspiration from. such a powerful figure could have been overwhelming, but matsumura's work is always about a fluidity and serenity that it was the samurai's sense of honour, restrain and discipline that eclipsed the warrior persona. and it was that sense of restrain that gave the collection its focus that even with all the layering with different levels of volume which was directly inspired by the samurai uniform, it all worked cohesively as one picture. as the models paraded down the dimly lit runway they played the part of matsumura's young army in billowing pleated pants that was so full in volume it appeared to be a skirt, with most looks worn with an apron like appendage and to give it an urban edge, the designer injected the collection with plaids, leather and hi top trainers. presenting a modern take on an ancient idea. while the character looked like he was ready for battle in the urban jungle, he also gave the clothes a spiritual dimension. the same zen like spirit that permeates with all his collections where a fluid line works so harmoniously with a stricter, more defined cut. let's not forget, as brutal as the samurais were in the field of battle, they also considered the meditation of floral arrangements to be as equal a form of martial arts as sword fighting.