Walk like Greased Lightning! Prada's hot rod shoes are firing up the fashion world with flaming heels and tailfin touches
Hailed as a product of the Golden Era of automobile design, American tailfin cars are undoubtedly things of beauty. Perfectly sculptured, with dramatic paint jobs and flourishes like flaming exhaust pipes and highly polished chrome metalwork, they are as desirable today as they were in the Fifties and Sixties when they were first created. In fact, their eye-catching aesthetic makes for fertile fodder for fashion designers looking for inspiration. But few borrow quite so literally from the tailfin's design motifs as Miuccia Prada.
For her spring/summer 2012 collection, Miuccia designed a collection of shoes heavily inspired by the American tailfin era. Colours are bold Cadillac red and racing green. Flames burst from the back of the
shoes in the way they would from a hot rod's exhaust pipe. Detailing on
the shoes comes from the highly polished chrome metal work, or the
geometric shapes of the cars' tailfins.
Hot rods and high heels: Prada's spring/summer 2012 campaign was influenced by 1950s Americana
The campaign images themselves, all bright colours and slick retro styling, were shot by legendary fashion world snapper Steven Meisel, and starred five new models – Meghan Collison, Natasha Poly, Elise Crombez, Ymre Stiekema and Kathryn Kruger – posing perched on the hoods of immaculately painted vintage automobiles.
Of the hot rod campaign, Miucca waxes lyrical thus: ‘Bathed in sunlight.
Fuelled by optimism. Girls and cars stop and stare at the future in
this Technicolor mise-en-scne of desire…The gas station is cast as a
central symbol in this post-modern crossroads of new horizons and
economic fulfillment, a stage set where fashion, fantasy and the promise
of new discoveries collide.’
She can add to that that the campaign features some flaming hot shoes.
On fire! Bold wedges in Cadillac red and racing green borrow motifs from 1950s car culture with exhaust-pipe flames and shiny paint-job finish
Driving fashion forward: Flaming exhaust pipes and tail-fin forms are used as embellishment on the heels of many of the shoes
Greased lightning: High-shine metallic detailing on stiletto heels or the back of a wedge echoes the polished chrome of the hot rods
Americana: The collection itself, initially revealed at Milan fashion week last September, bore automobile-inspired motifs, from exhaust flames to tailfin and car prints