Milan Fashion Week is well under way, and Prada, one of the week’s hottest events, has just shown. Despite navigating an entirely new world created by immense change in day to day living, the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons only continues to impress on the runway.
A year has passed since the pair’s debut show as co-creative directors at Milan’s Digital Fashion Week. As well as proving two fashionable minds are better than one, fans were impressed and are now ready for the next instalment from the creative pairing. Their introductory collection last year ushered in a new rendition of the minimalist-chic Prada uniform, blending the worlds of Simons and Prada while also bringing through a fresh, unique aesthetic. The duo’s latest collection took new form for their first in-person show.
This show was different: a dual live affair in both Shanghai and Milan, models walked the runway simultaneously whilst digital screens showed the opposite show in real time. The effect was of a dystopian, or perhaps utopian, vision of fashion: bringing in a globalised audience and showcasing the same look on two different bodies. Despite the ongoing dialogue surrounding body positivity and inclusivity in high fashion, Prada seemed unfazed – not opting to utilise this potential.
The sets were dark, catwalk illuminated, and the audience sparse. Pounding beats with sultry, repetitive vocals formed the accompaniment, and contributed to the elusive atmosphere. Colours were bold: neons, fuschia and pastel pinks appeared in between black silk and leather looks, all with impressive trailing trains. Here Prada toyed with new silhouettes, exposing the models’ entire back in a deep cut out. We’ve seen a few designers this month opt for preppier items, with Prada being no exception. Loafers and mules, pointed with a diagonal slant over the foot and again offered in both black and vibrant palettes, completed the looks. Another highlight were a pair of oversized, tailored cream jackets with a central rope tie, remnant of classic, royal attire.
Despite the presence of some bright colours, the collection felt more AW than SS. Perhaps, in part to the plentiful darker tones, but also the garments themselves: jackets, blazers and long dresses or skirts took precedence in this collection. Compared to the skimpy micro-looks from brands such as Blumarine, shown the day before, Prada brought a different, and decidedly darker energy to Milan today. However, this is not to say that this was a pitfall: Simons and Prada’s creative pairing seems to have found their feet with this latest collection, and no doubt fans will be eager to get their hands on it.