Prada man is deliberately absent-minded

COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press Published:

MILAN (AP) -- Don't think the Prada man is absent-minded just because one point of his shirt collar is tucked into the sweater, while the other is out.

It's all quite deliberate.

Prada's menswear for next winter features basic shirts, crew neck sweaters and trousers in a very classic color palate: blue, light blue, yellow and red. The shirts, often checked, some with ruffles and ribbons down the front, are worn purposely askew.

The collection aims to answer the question "what is daily fashion," Miuccia Prada said backstage after previewing the collection Sunday, the second day of Milan Fashion Week. "Fashion is what you want to wear. The shirt you want to wear, the sweater you want to wear, what a human wants to wear."

That is: not by chance.

The look recalls the past, when telephones were hardwired and typewriters were the vanguard of communications technology, but is made for men who rely on cell phones and laptops.

An urbanite, the Prada man enjoys a view of Milan's rooftops from his apartment decorated with vintage Knoll furnishings. A Siamese cat lazily traverses the window sill as birds fly by and classical music plays in the background.

Models crossed a stage that recreated it all with precision, from Knoll mockups, models of modern and yesteryear technology, and projections of the Milan skyline.

Outerwear completes the look, from wool or leather overcoats, worn mostly open, to baseball jackets with knit waistlines. The collection was mostly unadorned. The only accessory: thick-soled, oversized shoes in shiny black or brown leather. Cropped pants and no socks accentuate the footwear.

As for the inspiration for the color scheme, Prada says it's very specific but she won't say what it was. "Maybe you can guess," she teased.

Though it looks back, the collection is absent nostalgia.

"One thing is nostalgia," Prada said. "The other is knowing the culture of the past. Nostalgia I hate. The past inspires me."