Craftsmanship and technique are reproduced and reinterpreted by the unique and harmonious work of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. The stylistic research brought to the stage for this upcoming summer season tells of formal but fluid pairings, of the priority that clothes must be able to acquire over the narrative of the same, and of the seemingly disproportionate interpretation of brand archetypes. The primary desire is to return to the origin, to the essence, eliminating any superstructure and pitting the true message of fashion, and of Prada. The geometries are austere and severe, a clear reference to the 1940s, with a high waist, angular shoulders and tapered lines. Every reference to history, and to features taken from the wardrobe of decades past, finds new life. It becomes current, modern and sophisticated, contemporary and bourgeois clothing, concrete, physical and real.
“I got tired talking about ideas — let’s talk about clothes.”
Silhouettes seem to be tailored, shoulders are broad, lengths are sharp and slim, waists are high, and sleeves are very long. Juxtaposed with simple, clean lines we also have voluminous characters, such as suits in recomposed leather, or large oversized bomber jackets. Sophistication can be recognized in men’s suits worn as jumpsuits, with the jacket in the pants, in printed capes in transparent chiffon with stiff shoulders, in tube skirts with a woolen fabric waist, in fringed shirts and sweaters with precious embroidery. The fringing technique looks incredible among the releases, there are bangs printed on floral shirts, but also precious skeins, made of metal and superimposed on the look, which become a jeweled accessory. Sleeveless dresses made of silk satin and organza veils tell the image of a sincere and ethereal woman, who seems to float in a space that is only seemingly physical; the sheath dress line picks up on classic references ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s, as do the nuances chosen for these eight proposals, soft and dusty, discreet and contemporary.
“Craft isn’t something that gets talked about a lot at Prada, at least not as much as at other houses. We wanted to show what we could do.”
“All embroidery is handmade, and the collection embodies ideas and techniques that have been studied and developed over a long period of time. This work is always part of what we do and have always done. We wanted to make it recognizable.”
The color palette, with alternating white, black and gray, appears simple. Hints of bold tones are few, and they are found in the focal point of the collection: the footwear; indeed, the bright colors of the slip mules stand out among them. The lines are reminiscent of the bedroom slippers of the last century, with kitten heels becoming their most distinctive detail. A thin, triangular-shaped heel bears the inscription of the logo. Together they also parade stiletto pumps and black lace-ups with a masculine cut. Accessories complete the life of these looks; sleek black leather belts lend modern styling to even the most tailored looks. The bag reimagined for the occasion is the one made in 1913 by Mario Prada, preserved in the archives of the Milanese brand, reproduced and reinterpreted for this latest collection. The model, designed for evening wear, features a frame closure and is composed of a hand-carved element representing a mythological figure reflecting contemporary enthusiasm for oriental aesthetics and artistic styles. Originally made of silk moiré, it is recreated here in nappa leather and re-nylon. The distinctive closure detail is also employed on oversize-cut tote bags, continuing to express the curiosity inherent in the brand’s work.
“We didn’t want to philosophize or tell stories about clothing. For this collection, we wanted to focus on the work – on methods, techniques and value. There is a respect for our craft as designers and for the act of making clothes. The clothes speak for themselves.”
Even in the Fondazione Prada space, within which the show takes place, we return to the essence, to that minimal cleanliness of which only Prada is capable. Few elements, simple, clear and direct. Few colors, few materials, but all perfectly unique. The set-up is once again visionary, the metallic catwalk is cold, made of steel, and alternates with the warm peach color. The slime, as well as for the last Men’s collection, continues to drip transparently between the muses on the runway, making a dynamic and eventful optical effect in the view of the guests. The défilé captures and hypnotizes, telling a bold but unmistakable proposal of unique clothes, to be observed, worn, assembled and composed. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons return to demonstrate their genius in telling a uniform point of view aimed at attention to the purest everyday.