Prada's personal style: A primer

I so enjoyed the post by "Caryl" of Second Lives Club that I'm linking to it: "Miuccia Prada and Her 7 Elements of Style".

Prada's discreet yet wholly individual looks offer an antidote to the strenuously-supported effects that so many designers, makeup artists, etc. shove at mature women.

Can't resist adding an 8th Element: Oh yes, Prada wears pearls, as shown here, with her husband, Patrizio Bertelli:

She will wear those same stunning earrings casually, too...

and choose a bracelet with a large focal pearl:

Though I would not attempt all of her sartorial effects, Prada embodies an intelligence and sensibility that, at 63 (my age, too) inspires. Now, if only she made her designs in a size 14.

Thank you, Caryl, for your keenly-observed post.


Susan B said…
Even when she's "done up," she never looks "over-done." Great article you've linked to as well.
LPC said…
Thanks for the link. I only wish we didn't always have to comment on her "jolie laide" status. That said, it's a really well-though, well-written post, so I should not quibble.
Duchesse said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duchesse said…
LPC: I left a similar comment on that blog; "Caryl" replied that she meant the clothes, not Prada- which is not clear from the construction of the sentence. And "jolie laide" typically applies a to a woman, not an object.
frugalscholar said…
"jolie laide of au couture"? What is au couture? Haute?

I agree with the objection to the term. Whenever we watch a movie and i comment on how good looking everyone is, Mr FS says: That's because they're actors. We can't all be in the 1%--or even the 50%!
Anonymous said…
So comfortable in her own skin.
What strikes me here is that she looks genuinely happy and I there is a touch of whimsy in her style...
should we not all embrace these elements?
Duchesse said…
frugal: I'm assuming "haute"; as Caryl mentioned in her reply to me (on her blog) that "maybe I should... avoid foreign phrases. Your comment re film actors reminds me of the saying that "politics is show business for ugly people".

kathy peck: That's it exactly, and it is not related to wealth. (This is a woman who hired a school-uniform maker to create her gray cotton wedding dress and coat.)
Duchesse said…
hostess: I've been thinking about this, too. It takes a great eye, confidence and restraint to embrace whimsy the way Prada does. Looks easy, is not. I don't wish to emulate her banana earrings (made for her jewelry line):

I would not wear them well!
sisty said…
She's always been one of my style inspirations. She has a kind of strictness that I admire, from her plain hair, skirts-only (though she was photographed in a gorgeous pants outfit at the Met opening), heels, antique earrings, and -- now that you point it out -- pearls. It's an aesthetic that's womanly while being anti-"sexy" at the same time. (That's a lotta hyphens in this post).
Anonymous said…
Miuccia Prada certainly seems to be having fun, and she's made a great success of her brand. I admire her individual style and self confidence. The clothes she designs, though, leave me shaking my head most of the time. In any Prada collection, about 10 percent of the pieces are very beautiful, I think; the rest remind me of prison matrons, 1950s school teachers, and 8th grade sewing projects. Drab colors, ugly prints, and fabrics inappropriately stiff or heavy for a garment's design seem to be part of the Prada signature. What am I missing? (Though I must admit, the watercolor print sundresses in the windows of the NY Prada shop featured in Slim Paley's blog were lovely...)

Thanks for the link. Miuccia Prada is my absolute favourite designer of all time - I have been a huge fan ever since her Fall/Winter 2000 collection. I am headed to New York in July to see the exhibit at the Met.
Duchesse said…
c.: I don't own any clothes (size issue) but the shoes have been outstanding (wear like iron. If my size, would have bought sweaters and some of the skirts- I would hope on sale or secondhand. Agree not everything is for me. The other day, in a black knee-length full skirt and geranium cashmere double v-neck that ended at the waist I thought, This is my homage to Prada.

sisty: Yes, womanly, the perfect word.

Louise: That will be a wonderful trip!
Gretchen said…
I've always enjoyed her collections-she seems to have such a joy about her, instead of The Serious Wardrobe Design. I have a few pairs of her shoes (not the crazy ones, but riffs on penny loafers in pumps and sling backs) and a bag which I adore. I dream of one of her skirts or dresses someday, but meanwhile, I follow her rule of tnecks or menswear shirts, fab skirts, and great accessories. She is an inspiration!
materfamilias said…
What lovely posts, both yours and Caryl's, to read during my end-of-the-day blog catch-up. Thank you!
Caryl said…
Thank you, Duchesse, and all your very smart followers
who came to our site as well. I will never use a French
phrase again. I even looked up the meanings of
haute couture and au couture and, well, I couldn't resist jolie laide. By the way, Umberto Eco who knows a thing
or two about beauty and ugliness (see his books on
those subjects) wrote the copy for the exhibit's catalog.
It's a good thing I am going to Toronto tomorrow
and not Montreal, given my language difficulties.

Again . . .merci!
barbara said…
I think, Miucca Prada's look also developed out of her memories after WW II on the so called "Truemmerfrauen". Those brave women tried to survive somehow, built up ruins and organized life new, mostly without help of men who were still in captivity.They dressed with whatever was on hand.
Also the german Designer Wolfgang Joop always honored those women and included single "fashion elements" in his collections (even in his Wunderkind brand).
You still find womenly women like this in Italy, although more in the Southern Part (Naples) and of course the elderly ones.
I love this style.
Am I the only one who finds, that la Prada looks like a sister of Materfamilias( esp. on the first picture). Maybe the same zodiac? MP is a taurus.
Duchesse said…
barbara: I've read her comments about being influenced by the clothes of working people, and her early political leanings might also influence her to reject ostentation. Your comments deepen our awareness of her times.

Having met materfamilias in person, I don't see a resemblance, other than that of keen intellect and vitality.
Thanks for the link - I do like Muiccia Prada's personal style, though I can't afford to buy her clothes!
Mardel said…
She has long been one of my style icons although I have no desire to try to copy her style. And although yes, she seems comfortable in her skin as others have noted, there is more than that as she dresses with presence, flare, intelligence, and without apology. These are things I admire.

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