Prada. Prada, Prada, Prada. Where to start with Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ Spring/Summer 2024 womenswear show. How about: impeccable?
It’s hard to quantify or put into words what kind of fashion mastery we just witnessed inside Fondazione Prada, where the dynamic duo of Milanese chic attire presented a collection that suitably followed on from its most recent men’s show. Grey steel was swapped out for a more feminine rose gold tone, with grates in the floor indicating that slime would dribble out of the ceiling — and it did, in abundance.
Another thing in abundance: to-die-for fashion. The “Haze” dress, crafted in superfine organza and gazar, billowed in the models’ own breeze, emulating the fluid shapes that the slime naturally created. It featured alongside other fairytale moments, including fringed joallerie skirts, printed poplin shirts draped in organic florals, skirts flirting with feathers, and cardigans sporting peeping holes.
However, there was a darker side that ruled Prada Donna. Raf Simons’ grunge aesthetic played a considerable part here, presenting a dress in painted leather with hand-embroidered crystal embellishments and studs. Skirts were studded by hand to incorporate metal eyelets into its slim-fitting body, while a cocoon coat in patchwork painted leather only enhanced the gravitas of this collection.
Likewise, reproductions of a bag designed by Miuccia Prada’s grandfather and the co-founder of the House, Mario Prada, (now dubbed the Prada Milano Dal 1930), were also found in leather. Others were covered in crystals, studs, or patchworks, while one notable number had a horrified figurine’s head on the top of it as its clasp.
The contrast of horror and beauty continued to unfold as those aforementioned “Haze” dresses developed, offering something ethereal. Likewise, high-heeled pumps with sharp and high-rising vamps, often coming in silk satin or leather that’s hand-embroidered with crystals, chains, or studs, elevated this idea of danger.
It was vampy, eerie, but yet delicate and beautiful. This is something we’ve come to expect from Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ creative partnership, but for SS24 it served even more than usual. More than ever, the story line and the idea of who would wear this collection was clear — this was for Rosalia on a stormy angelic photo shoot, Kylie Jenner at an October 31 ball, or for Sofia Richie at a masquerade night. They were all in attendance, alongside K-pop stars ENHYPEN, Scarlet Johansson, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Wes Anderson, and of course, Fabio Zambernardi — Miuccia Prada’s right hand man of design, who appeared at the end of the show to bow, as it marked his last for the House after being there for 40 years.
But to put it best, here is Raf Simons speaking on the collection himself: “Recognised ideas, techniques and materials are used differently, approached in uncommon ways. Shifting things, pushing things. It’s about evolving the DNA of Prada. Although we usually don’t, for this season we wanted to talk about the craftsmanship – the complexity of work in these clothes. All the embroideries are by hand, and throughout there are ideas and techniques we have studied and developed over a long period. This work is always part of what we do, have always done. We wanted to recognise it here.”
Miuccia Prada added: “We did not want to philosophise, to propose stories about clothing. For this collection, we wanted to focus on the work – the methods and techniques, the value. There is a respect for our work as designers, and the act of making clothes. The clothes say everything. Returning to the concrete, physicality and actuality. We tried to make the best out of our work, to make beautiful things, for today. That may sound banal, but it is the truth.”
Take a look at the Prada Donna Spring/Summer 2024 collection above. More Milan Fashion Week content can be found online, on Culted’s Instagram, and on Culted’s TikTok.
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