MILAN (AP) -- Miuccia Prada's starts off simply sober, and builds slowly to sober psychedelic.
The womenswear collection for next winter and fall presented Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week has some basic building blocks: cropped pants worn either under a long skirt, with a short jacket, an empire-waisted long coat or sleeveless vest.
Details make the difference.
Elegant black combinations were the backbone of the collection. Some long coats featured tails, a look Prada launched for men last month. Oversized beads ringed pant hemlines, decorated the bodice like so many brooches, or created a vertical pattern down the skirt.
The empire waist of the jackets and dresses provide a flattering look, and the combination of dresses and pants recalls a young girl's attempts to mix fashion with function on the playground.
Shirts are either a printed turtle neck, or a button-down white shirt embellished with a beaded collar.
Even with the heavily layered look, Prada's lines remain impeccably clean -- both ethnic and elegant.
After the introduction in black, Prada exploded with brocade prints recalling hip 1960s upholstery in bright orange, pink, green and purple.
The polygon prints lent movement to the looks, a slightly psychedelic feel as the hexagons seemed to rotate.
Long printed coats dipping below the knee and belted high with a jeweled buckle were paired with cropped pants, the better to show off the comfortable flat Mary Janes with bright rubber soles -- an antidote to the super-high-heeled strapped pumps.
Prada brought back the pant suit, a look which is popping up all over Milan, but she also sometimes paired complementary prints, say a purple and red hexagon vest over brown and black diamond pants, leaving lots of room for the Prada woman to mix and match.
A fiesta of bags accessorized the look, including Prada favorites from doctor bags to tiny cell phone-sized evening purses. Models wore dark eye makeup and long hair extensions often in contrasting colors.