Everyone sit down and shut up: Raf and Miuccia have taken the stage. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have united once again to create a collection worth pining for, featuring figure-hugging slips, oversized tailoring, and some iconic accessories. The clean girl aesthetic is nowhere to be found in their SS23 collection, where instead we’re seeing a marriage between messy and sexy: the iconic duo.
Since the pair partnered in 2020, becoming the brand’s collaborative creative directors, Prada and Simons have transformed Prada into the youth-centric powerhouse it is today. Last year we saw the brand dip their toe into a more tailored aesthetic; but SS23 has taken this look to a whole new level. Think office-chic, but hotter.
The runway was flooded with tailored jackets, button-up shirts, and pencil skirts in an urban sea of browns, greys, and office-blues. The professionalism of the looks was subverted by juxtaposing flashes of brightly coloured accessories, items that Prada’s always been iconised for. Famed for their luxury leather bags and shoes, the smattering of synthetic pinks, traffic-light oranges, and sunny yellows drew your eyes from one look to the next, breaking the otherwise formality of the outfits.
Crumpled, strapless mini-dresses further evoked this idea of a casual professionalism, elevating the simple garment from a basic look to something far more model-off duty. The intentionally messy design of the dress created an image of rolling out of bed for work in the morning, throwing on a creased dress and pair of platform mary-jane heels, and swinging your electric orange Prada bag over your shoulder before running out the door.
As the show continued, messy tailoring gave way to soft meshes and tulles in the form of sheer jackets and flowing slip-dresses, which conveyed the collaboration between the renowned designers’ contrasting aesthetics. Miuccia Prada’s alternative imagery met Raf Simons’ youth-centricity to create a collection that combines more traditional trends with contemporary subversions.
Leather also makes a cameo in the collection in a pair of black coats, adding to the plethora of contrasting fabrics and aesthetics already present. By blending slips with tailoring and leather with tulle, Prada conveys the versatility of their collection, brought together with the addition of their vibrant bags and chunky heels.
Here we’re seeing the result of Miuccia and Raf’s battling perceptions of the Prada “it-girl”, manifested through the collection’s eclectic variety within a single aesthetic. Like a real Prada girl, SS23 creates a feeling of messy organisation; a stylish jacket thrown over a men’s button-down, or a simple white bra under a sheer, ribboned coat. Making models on the runway look off-duty is a hard feat to achieve, but Prada’s done it.