Ensemble

Design House: Prada (Italian, founded 1913)

Designer: Miuccia Prada (Italian, born 1949)

Date: ca. 1999

Culture: Italian

Medium: cotton, leather

Credit Line: Gift of Holly Brubach, 2002

Accession Number: 2002.561.1a–d

Description

When Miuccia Bianchi Prada took over her family's quality leather goods establishment in 1978, she introduced innovative materials and designs such as her famous black nylon backpack. Her products exemplify a tradition of craftsmanship, yet stress futuristic manufacturing techniques. Prada's design manifesto follows both the extraordinary vision of the early twentieth-century Futurists, with an adherence to continual movement and prized agility, and the innovative spontaneity of mid-century American artists like Claire McCardell, who by virtue of her insistence on fashionable comfort created simply shaped frocks with ingenious constructive twists. Like her contemporaries in Milan and Capri, Prada uses only the most luxurious and cutting-edge fabric treatments, from the conservative refinement of the wool tweed in this ensemble to finely processed synthetic taffetas and jerseys for evening wear. This brown and white faux tweed checked cotton ensemble with brown leather trim is also distinctive for its provenance as it belonged to Holly Brubach, a prominent fashion editor.

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