MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

PRADA UTOPIA

2024.06.17

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons present the Prada Men’s Spring/Summer 2025 collection within the Deposito of Fondazione Prada, intertwining surreal details and references to rave culture to urge us to question the contingency of perceptions.

The new Prada Men’s Spring/Summer 2025 collection by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons proposes a conversation about contemporary concepts of truth and fiction, but above all of (ir)reality – despite Miuccia’s open declaration of detesting escapism. Viewed from afar, it may appear different, with simplistic, almost naive, casual details, but up close the perceptions transform: wire details animate the collars and hems of the garments with an unreal dynamism, as if they were alive. Young models emerge from wooden huts and open the show, accessorized with enormous visor sunglasses that cover the face, seemingly made of reflective material, but upon closer inspection, one can notice houses, deck chairs, and televisions applied to the lenses, making it difficult to distinguish between the real reflection of the runway and the hallucinations on the frames. Elsewhere, trompe-l’oeil buckle belts are painted on the pants, while the shirts peeking out from under the jackets are actually intarsia knits in a single piece. The garments, deliberately wrinkled, patinated, and aged, bear the signs of time: imperfection is another sign of life, of reality, with the proportions being wrong. Clothes borrowed from the father’s or mother’s wardrobe fit the body differently; the deliberately long or cropped proportions of a superhero sweater are combined and placed in a new context instinctively, while Bernard Buffet’s paintings are reinterpreted and printed like concert t-shirts. Moving on, various everyday trench coats replace the current oversized trends, revealing leather pockets, contrasted with hoodies and brightly colored knitwear, bringing a timely freshness to Prada’s intellectual universe.

“This collection was born from an instinctive suggestion, from a spontaneous dialogue between ideas that came to our minds at a certain moment, ideas materialized in unexpected ways – which represents the way we have worked. We wanted to create pieces to wear today”.

– Miuccia Prada & Raf Simons

The color palette is full of bright green, red, Miu Miu purple, yellow, light blue, and brown. Some shoes with silver tips and new color-blocked versions of the House’s iconic loafer make their appearance. Continuing along the Prada path, the work jumpsuit makes several appearances, this time reimagined with fluorescent zippers running down both legs and up to the neck. As a symbolic element of mid-90s rave culture, the inclusion of this garment in the collection makes particular sense, especially as techno sounds echo through the austere spaces of the Deposito della Fondazione – a clear reference to the electronic sounds of Raf Simons’ Belgian musical culture. The rave culture practically forms the basis of his creative language, and here we see him seamlessly intertwine youth culture into his collections since his debut, such as the AW01 Riot! Riot! Riot! collection or, more recently, the rave at Printworks in London for SS23. A spirit of freedom, tender optimism, and energy is evident. The fairytale ravescape created within the Deposito of the Prada Foundation gathers and unites people; objects of different origins are thoughtfully juxtaposed through unexpected contrasts, yet with a sought-after and careful spontaneity. A hut, the simplest structure par excellence, stands as a totem of the essential, the necessary, and the real, translating into immediate and unpretentious garments. A utopian conception invites one to question the contingency of perceptions, to re-examine, to observe things more closely: for Prada, reducing distances reflects the instinctive emotion of the individual towards proximity, sharing space, and being together.

“When you are young, you act on instinct, unaware of the consequences and without overthinking. Less theory, more practice”.

– Miuccia Prada & Raf Simons

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