Miuccia Prada is well known for finding inspiration in places where most designers fear to tread. For autumn 2009, she went down to the riverbank, cast her net wide and came up with a collection that was brave and beautiful.
Granted, thigh-high green waders might not be top of anyone's wish list for winter, but these weren't just any waders: they were deluxe and moss green in butter-soft nappa leather.
Along with tobacco-brown belted tweed coats and ribbed fisherman's jumpers, they lent the collection a wholesome, outdoorsy feel quite at odds with the current Eighties love-in in Milan.
Put the boot in: Deluxe waders in butter-soft nappa leather stole the show at Prada's Autumn/Winter 2009 collection In Milan yesterday
'It was time for some fresh air,' said Prada after the show, saying she wanted to do a take on outside living. 'City girl glamour - that's not about feeling alive.'
It is an indication of how crazy fashion has become that the humble suit should suddenly seem so radical. But as suit after neat woollen suit came down the catwalk, radical is what they looked.
A collective sigh of 'phew - so this is what we've been missing all these months' could almost be heard as the audience made a mental note to ditch wet-look leggings at last.
'Strong, beautiful, serious,' Prada added. 'I wanted the idea of something more structured. Women will always need suits.'
Eveningwear: Clever slits revealed inches of flesh to prevent the show from becoming too dowdy
Being Prada suits, they had subtle surprises: panelled skirts that parted when the models walked, revealing ribbed pants underneath. As a counterpoint to the heavy tweeds and thick, lustrous velvets, there was always enough flesh on display to ensure the clothes remained seductive.
In addition to double-breasted coats in red leather or brown flock velvet, another key piece was the V-neck dress, worn equally low at the front and back, in a combination of velvet and tweed.
Wholesome: Prada's collection combined traditional fabrics such as tweed and velvet with a modern twist
For evening, there were grey flannel shift dresses embroidered with crystal flowers. Brown and burgundy flapper dresses, their skirts shimmying strips of leather emboldened with still more crystals, looked wonderfully modern.
A standout collection for which Prada customers should fall hook, line and sinker.
FASHION VERDICT: PRADA WADERS
Go on, wade in... at least you'll save money on tights
Thighs the limit: Prada's wader boots are practical and stylish
The antithesis of all the sexy stilettos currently favoured by the fashion pack, some might say waders should be as low down on a fashionista's list of priorities as Yvette Cooper's suit choice.
But before we dismiss them entirely, it might be wise to consider the evidence in their favour.
Have you seen the weather recently? Erratic, isn't it? Who knows when there will be torrents of nasty rain? Waders are the high fashion footwear option for style-conscious women terrified of the random and devastating effects of global warming.
I also have it on good authority that thigh-high rubber is brilliant for steaming the thighs, lending them that taut, toned, 'just out of a sauna' appearance that weeks in a health club couldn't replicate.
Prada waders may be expensive, but they would still work out cheaper than a week at Champney's.
You would also make savings on hosiery: with boots this high, who needs tights?
In fact, you would also save on handbags: think how many lipsticks, tissues and BlackBerrys you could smuggle down them.
And for those not blessed with a well-turned ankle, a shapely calf or a gazelle-like thigh, waders are perfect camouflage.
Victoria Beckham, recently pictured at a theme park in five-inch Louboutins, should take note: every woman needs a flat shoe now and again. Waders are the ultimate in comfy, utilitarian chic.
And if you like drinking in Camden, they might be just the thing for stepping daintily over beer-soaked floors in the Hawley Arms.
Suited and welly-booted: Prada's brave and beautiful collection takes inspiration from the riverbank | Mail Online