Miuccia Prada is a rare designer whose collections are meant to connote something more than her last vacation to a luxe lodge in the African bush or a painting she saw recently. If she doesn't explain that meaning, you can bet on critics trying to figure it out for themselves. This was particularly apparent at her last spring show — the one with all the bananas — that received some of the most universally effusive praise to have been given to a single collection in ages. For this spring season, she showed another wacky print: cars. To emphasize the point, the set for the show included Styrofoam sports cars, and she titled the show, "Women and Car Engines." As with those wacky banana and monkey prints, critics are likewise ecstatic over the cars.
Cathy Horyn spoke to Prada about her spring 2012 meme :
Men are a little obsessed about beautiful cars and women, so Ms. Prada seemed to be referring to the objectification of women. “Does a woman feel obliged to be sweet” in society, she asked, “or is it a choice?” That question has been pondered for years. Next spring, Prada will have a lot of clothes that won’t wait for the answer, including those pleated chiffon dresses with scooped necklines and a gelato swirl of color, a pleated skirt in a wonderful shade of deep red, and lots of separates that are easier to integrate into your wardrobe than Prada’s last collection.
WWD, which compared Prada to Darwin after she showed the banana prints, called the clothes "gorgeous":
Once again, Prada left her audience breathless with a spring collection dazzling on many levels: its refinement, its subtle intricacy, its modesty — yes, modesty — that was ironic or not, as suits your pleasure... Even with its retro car imagery (including a giant Chevy, or not a Chevy, plastered on a model’s posterior) this lineup played as all chic, with endless gloriously adult wardrobe options.
London's Telegraph wondered if Prada took a risk with the cars because the label just posted a 74 percent first-half profit spike, leaving her room for a little experimentation. "Ugliness is a scab she can't help scratching," the paper says. Indeed, this is how she describes her process: making the ugly beautiful. Whether or not she succeeded is up for all of you to decide in your own hearts. What seems more certain is that the knockoffs of this stuff are going to be downright terrible.