Prada tees off for next summer, using golf as inspiration for eccentric, offbeat collection

MILAN – Golf inspired Prada’s offbeat, whimsical menswear collection for next spring and summer.

“I was using golf as an excuse to make it eccentric. Even if I hate golf and don’t play, it is completely international,” designer Miuccia Prada said backstage after the preview menswear show Sunday evening.

The motif, she said, allowed her to merge ideas and cultures, although the basic theme of the spring-summer 2012 collection was “Americana.”

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Prada laid artificial turf for the show inside a cavernous industrial space in central Milan, just the thing for the riveted soles of the fringed golf shoes worn by the models – or were they caddies? Several carried floral printed or studded golf bags, with Prada-branded golf clubs.

Sporting cocky golf hats, the models seemed to enjoy themselves as they snaked down the grassy runway, to a lively remix of Cole Porter’s “Summertime.”

Prada said she had a good time putting together the colorful show. “It’s international and crosses all cultures, I mean completely crazy,” the designer told The Associated Press, laughing at her own enthusiasm.

And yet the collection was perfectly balanced featuring whimsical comic book figures on shirts, trousers and jackets. A rodeo-style shirt with studded yolk featured cowboys on bucking broncos, teepees and dancing couples. Some trousers showed a miniature golfing tableau. A jacket was printed with musical figures, including a Rockabilly guitarist and a conductor in boxer shorts.

Crisp days call for quilted jackets that fit at the waist, some in the comic book prints, others in bold floral patterns.

The backbone of the collection came in the well-tailored jackets, trousers and sweaters in neutral colours, from tan to black, that became the blank canvas for Prada’s whimsy.

Prada said her motto for the collection was “no design.” Instead, the magic was in combining the elements.

The pieces, according to Prada’s mission, are not just conversation pieces. They are about finding ways to have fashion influence life.

“It is always political for me,” she said.

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