Usually I need to wait a few months, sit on a Prada collection and then go forth with my verbal diarrhea.  This time round, I came out of the Prada S/S 13 show with my brain a-whirring, which was then further revved up when I saw the collection up close in the showroom a day later.  As with most Prada collections, there was much to dissect but for me, as a child shuffling back and forth between the good and evils of both East and West, even more so.  Where to start?  The sixties, feminism, youthquake, obedience of geisha type figures, orientalism a la Edward Said AGAIN but this time with an unexpected twist delivered in pure Miuccia style.  Therefore, I'll just look to the feet first and foremost and figure the rest later.

"For me, shoes are where I can express my fantasy, my imagination. I think you have much more freedom to be outrageous with shoes.  There is more room for craziness, for exaggeration."

The quote above from the Prada Schiaparelli exhibition doesn't seem to ever get old for me.  It's a single nutshell explaining away all of Prada's preoccupations with the feet, as time and time again, she comes up with weirdly desirable footwear that in recent years have been so well-documented through streetstyle photography that by now, you're probably cynically looking at all this S/S 13 footwear, wondering who will be the first to wear them out on the "streets" and how many times you will see them in a Style.com slideshow before declaring them to be "over" within the time period of a month.  Whilst I don't doubt that they'll be shot to death, I'll probably never tire of them as they present such a potent method of culture and style clashing that for me, even if I saw them hundred times.  

If we look at the more complex style – the giant cake-like wedge, dotted with daisies, trussed up in satin and sandwiched sometimes with snakeskin layers – it's a shoe that goes as far and away from elegant as possible.  In fact it's remit is to be awkward.  Geisha may have had to walk gingerly in their geta sandals with the weight of the wood restricting their movement to small and ladylike steps but girls wearing these Prada beauties with the pairing of the tough judo leather socks will go stomping on the streets, aided by the flower power of the simple daisy that graced much of the collection.  he prettiness behind all that pristinely crisp satin, perfectly formed rigid bows and tiny dots of daisies go up against what is a deliberately difficult shape as well as a hard-edged leather sock that masks the foot.   

The simpler flatform styles with their layers of platform built up by building blocks or carved with a hole in the wedge remind me of the Tokyo Bopper, Belly Button and Unbilical shoe styles that are prevalent in Harajuku, Tokyo.  They all share that strange mix between a chunky, ostensibly comfortable shoe to allow movement but have girly features like a naive bow, a lace-up strap or done up in a baby pink just to assert that these are indeed feminine shoes.  They are undeniably kawaii in the hyper cute sense of the word, blending in the new and the old just as the Tokyo Bopper cultish shoes are inspired by heightened flatform styles of Japan's yesteryear.  How strange that the quote on the top of the Tokyo Bopper website "We prefer the flower that blooms on the street" should be so appropriate for Prada's footwear and the collection as a whole.    

With all that said, a gigantic flatform modelled after Japanese geta sandals adorned with daisies and paired with leather tabi socks isn't going to be everyone's speed.  I suspect that's why Prada threw in the more conventional bow-fronted satin heels, to appease the more conservative customers.  I, of course will be determined to get onboard this particular footwear train.  I've already predicted prices of the more ornate styles going up towards the upper end of ¬£1,500-¬£2,000 mark and have anticipated that for production, it's likely that these styles will be toned down in height.  Another mad flight of fancy?  Probably but Prada has been playing this game for so long, she's already pre-meditated the die hards out there clamouring for her visions, however strange, however odd.  She's perfected the art of turning the undesirable into gold.  As for me, I have no choice really but to slavishly follow suit.   

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Comments (26)

  1. The Minx says:

    being that I’m a die-hard fan of anything Harajuku/Japanese, I was so pleasantly surprised to see this Prada collection. Prada always takes time to grow on me, but I was immediately attracted to these shoes. The silver and pink/putty pair in your third to last picture are particularly stunning.

  2. absolutely LUV the shoes – it is like a new candy in a sweet shop in Paris, something unexpected, delicious and devine. Your analysis and associations and thoughts about how, why and why not are as fun as the shoes, the pleasures of a life stimulated by fashion!

  3. Serdane says:

    They are absolutely gorgeous ! But I’m not a big fan of those socks. Do you think / know if we could take them out the shoes and wear them without ?
    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  4. Tara says:

    It’s clear to see that – although Miuccia herself did not like the idea of mixing art and fashion, or collaborating with artists – art, well as modern culture, play a major role in the formation of the above shoes.
    They are like glorified layer cakes sculpted from leather and finished off with perfectly pretty plastic flowers. They are wonderfully bizarre and I can’t wait to see, not only the rest of the S/S 2013 Prada collection, but how the trendy, young Dalstonites will make the double-platform look – √† la Prada – their own!
    Best Wishes,
    Tara

  5. Anastasios says:

    I watched the show minutes after it was over and I was utterly amazed by those sprayed-on flower designs and those Geisha inspired shoes!!!!!!!!
    Impecable show, well done Miuccia!
    Thank you so much for sharing those photos dear, I was looking for them!
    xoxoxo

  6. Sofia says:

    I understand where they’re coming from, but those socks inside the shoes really don’t look good in my opinion, especially not if they’ll be charging such exorbitant prices :P

  7. I am eclectic, but you are eclectic in a completely different way and that is just perfect! don’t know if you ever heard of the store RA in antwerp, that store just screams your name http://shop.ra13.be/

  8. vatani says:

    I looked for them everywhere to se closer, and I felt somehow these shoese Susie will like too so I came here and found them. Thanks Susie you such a inspiration source!

  9. Duck says:

    I knew the second this show started it would be a love or hate it kind of thing… I’m totally on the hate camp but I suspected you would be dying for the shoes! There’s something about Miuccia’s mind that just doesn’t mesh with my own.

  10. Usemeup says:

    Oh hello Camel Toe…hmmm mega jazzy but not for me. x

  11. palmigloo says:

    so,when you are gonna put them on?

  12. Maya says:

    I generally love Prada, but I have to say I was hugely disappointed with the Spring 2013 collection. The shoes here are faintly interesting, but they look like a lot of the other shoes Prada has designed before with the addition of the metallic kid-leather sock add-ons.

  13. I found your blog when I was looking for a different sort of information but I was very happy and glad to read through your blog. The information available here is great.

  14. Noe Farrell says:

    This Prada show is really funny and interesting indeed! I just like it; feels like Heaven is quite a great place indeed with such fashion. I really love it!

  15. Great write up and photo collection! They really are interesting and very charming. I can’t wait to see someone on this and may I be the first one also to have a taste on them.

  16. Those shoes collection are really interesting. I wonder why the socks are fixed with the shoes; they seem not that much cute to me.

  17. Sari Purdy says:

    The design of this collection is fascinating. It is unique and catchy. I like it.

  18. I love the collection. I have to confess that I have never seen these designs of shoes though. Nice one!

  19. Greta Garbo says:

    Very gorgeous shoes!I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep good work in the blog.
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  20. These are amazing! Tokyo Bopper is so iconic, and I really think Tokyo should indeed be given the credit for re-introducing the flatform/platform trend. Being from the west and having spent time in Japan, I’ve personally been extremely inspired by the mixing of what different societies tend to view as “western” and “eastern” fashion. The extreme blending of east and west that we have seen within these past few fashion week seasons I think says something about society and fashion culture as a whole. Very interesting post and these are exciting to see from Prada! I’ve honestly been waiting for a Japanese jikatabi “remake” platform shoe. I don’t know why DOG or anyone at Kitakore hasn’t done this yet..

  21. t says:

    looks like the prada designers raided nils peeraer closet! shameful.

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