• Text Kinza Shenn
  • 21st September 2018

Sexual liberation

Miuccia Prada doesn’t do things by halves. The Deposito warehouse space at Fondazione Prada was decorated with see-through inflatable cubes for seats – the kind that you probably had in your 90s bedroom – to unveil a collection that was equal parts weird and wonderful. The overarching theme was a seductive, sixties-inspired approach that nodded to the era’s female and sexual liberation. Printed A-line skirts were teamed with tops made from sheer fabric and psychedelic material, while Jackie O-esque double-breasted coats with an asymmetrical twist were decorated with bows and the iconic Prada label.

It was all about the detailing with this offering, as each model stepped out in a Halo-meets-Alice band either studded or decorated with gems. Paired with knee-high nylon stockings, schoolgirl dress silhouettes rendered in leather and satin wedged-shoes, there was more than a whiff of a Lolita vibe to these looks – a subverted sexuality that Ms. Prada absolutely nails. Studded leather gloves and matching handbags were also ubiquitous, as the aesthetic dialogue between ladylike sensibility and the rogue, reckless spirit of the period played out. Another element of note was the bug-eyed sunglasses which covered models’ faces with detailing reminiscent of era-defining model Twiggy’s eyelashes.

In conjunction with the show, the brand unveiled its second instalment of Prada Invites – an initiative launched last season which appoints creatives from other disciplines to design unique pieces for its collections. For SS19, renowned women from the architectural scene were asked to produce accessories for the label. Elizabeth Diller, the only architect to feature in Time magazine’s 2018 ‘100 Most Influential People’ list; Kazuyo Sejima, the first ever woman to be appointed the director of architecture for the Venice Biennial; and Cini Boeri, an award-winning Italian architect who lectures on the topic across the world made up this collection’s invitees.

Using womanhood as the thematic starting point to inform each of their visions, the trio made use of the brand’s iconic Prada nylon to produce accoutrements “created by women, for women.” Another display where Prada has chosen to explore incarnations of femininity, it seems that the label’s preoccupation with the topic is set to continue for several seasons to come.