Miuccia Prada's passion for the work of Yves Saint Laurent is the stuff of legend : in her student days, as secretary of the Communist Party in Milan, she'd lead protest marches in vintage YSL. Saint Laurent's clothes for Catherine Deneuve in 1967's "Belle de Jour" struck a particularly personal chord, as they captured both Deneuve's bourgeois hauteur and the current of transgression that ran beneath it. So it was easy to see Mrs P's latest men's collection as a kind of Beau du Jour for the way that it pushed sobriety into the realm of fetish.
The theme was duality from the first outfit : a charcoal suit, sober enough, but its jacket was wrapped in an almost feminine way. And it was worn with a shirt that had two collars, one quite clerical (the shoes also had a two-tone effect, and the swell of celestial voices in David Motion's "Buoyancy" on the soundtrack underscored the twisted religiosity). The bi-collar was a foretaste of what can only be described as male lingerie, which combined a bib front with what appeared to be a visible jockstrap (or maybe male garter belt ?) and closed at the back like a waistcoat (or bra). Wags instantly dubbed the look "wedgie chic", but it was more disturbing than that -as if traditional concepts of masculinity had been turned inside out. Of course, this is something Miuccia Prada's talked about for years, but it was still striking to see it rendered so graphically. Even more so when a couple of back-buttoning blouses walked past -male vulnerability wrapped up in a shirt.