As they so often do at Milan Fashion Week, Prada Menswear stole the show. In just their second psychical show together Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons deliver a collection in which the retro collides with the future, the everyday collides with the bizarre and of course as ever, the ugly collides with the chic.
The show has been turning heads on social media, not just for the clothes themselves, but the people adoring them. Cult actors Kyle MacLachlan, Jeff Goldblum, and soft boy heartthrobs Asa Butterfeild, Thomas Brodie-Sangster all walked the runway and looked fabulous. Miuccia Prada, is no stranger to celebrity cameos, enlisting the likes of Gary Oldman as a model in A/W 2012, Oldman described said collection as “a parody of manpower” 2022s, evokes something similar. Trench Coats embellished with fluffy blue trims and cuffs. David Byrne-looking, silhouettes, that are boxy to the point of frivolity. The show has an uncanny sense of humour without losing Prada’s foundational practicality.
“We were thinking about meaningful fashion, pieces that make sense,” Prada said in the show notes. “Clothes that make people feel important, and that are, therefore, in themselves, important, not something to discard.’’
The looks themselves, simultaneously a celebration and an exaggeration of workwear, illustrated perfectly, in brightly coloured PVC boiler suits with signature Prada backpacks, which the brand themselves say “recontextualises details that make a uniform essential or elegant.” It’s a celebration of the diversity of the everyday man. this was perhaps the idea of casting the likes of McLaughlin, and Goldblum are in their late 50s and early 60s respectively, and yet ooze sex in Prada. They stand in complete contrast to the hollow-cheeked twinks who we are used to seeing in Prada menswear.
It’s quite silly perhaps, much like Balenciaga’s infamous £3000 high vis jacket, the concept behind this show could be irksome for some. The average Prada-wearer is far from blue collar. But perhaps much like the creative director of the aforementioned Balenciaga’s Demna Visalia, Miuccia Prada crafting high fashion that critiques the overall obscurity of capitalism itself, directly poking fun at the contradictions within the system we live under. A former member of the Italian communist party herself, this wouldn’t be a huge stretch. How could one ever know? Right now you yourself are reading about clothes that cost £1000s in a magazine called ASBO, perhaps it’s all just absurd.
Whatever this all means, one thing is apparent, this show will be a standout moment in fashion this year. It includes possibly some of the most exciting and unique work Raf Simons has delivered since leaving Dior. This could mark a whole new era for Prada, with himself and Miuccia sharing the reigns at the helm.
Words: Aimee Armstrong