Before Prada became a Rom-Com buzzword, it was a luggage company. Founded in 1901 by Mario Prada, the label made steamer trunks and leather suitcases until Miuccia Prada took the reigns from her mother Luisa in 1978. Then she made waterproof backpacks out of black nylon from the Italian military - the same fabric that her grandfather had used to wrap his precious trunks for transport.
Miuccia (whose childhood nickname is Miu Miu, btw) followed up the backpacks with a nylon handbag - the first purse marketed as a luxury item but made of industrial materials. It was a major hit in the '80s and early '90s, and led to clothes along the same themes, made and inspired by industrial packing materials and the kooky prints used to line suitcases and sleeping bags. Then Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman wore it to the Oscars in the '90s and - poof - you know how the rest of it goes.
What's with the history lesson? Today's Prada collection referenced many of the early hallmarks of the brand, including the clashing colors, wacko patterns, and machine-made materials of Prada's early days. Shoes were capped with rubber heels and toes; bags were made of vinyl and studded with plastic jewels; prints looked like the rugs from 1970s airplane lounges while embroidery on the solid silk vests and pants was chunky and lucite, as if Judy Jetson had stolen her mom's cocktail blazer and worn it to a concert.
But despite the throwback, there was one incredibly modern thing about the Prada collection: it was livestreamed on the Internet for anyone in any country to watch in real time. To honor that spirit - and the "alien doll" aesthetic of the makeup - we present a First Look of Prada Fall 2012, created entirely via screen shot. Shift-Command-3, you're better than a status bag today... -