Fashion
  • Text Kinza Shenn
  • 18th January 2021

why not start dancing?

It’s not your average quarantine video call to find yourself on screen with Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, both sat gazing attentively toward your overblown picture in a purple faux fur-lined void*. This was how Prada’s newly partnered duo staged a Q&A with several students from around the world post-show for FW21. The layers of reality and surreality entangled in these dialogues only intensified the unique flavour of what came before.

The Q&A was staged in the same space as the collection: a series of expansive rooms conceptualised by resident Prada set designers Rem Koolhaas and AMO. Prada called it a “non-space”. Feeling was the object, in more ways than one. It was evocative, yes, and also tactile, in a point to resolve the spatial field of digitisation. Cold marble and thick shag walls you can feel without touching. Deliberately abstract and ambiguous, they conveyed the interiority of a psychological universe and its poetics of space.

There was a predominant idea unifying the clothes: long johns. Every model wore a jacquard-knitted pair, either by themselves or ducking out from tailoring and coats. But in the Q&A, Raf and Miuccia observed them as symbolically opposed to uniform. They offered meditations on intimacy, sensuality, and physical expressiveness in their body-clinging fit, and were intended as feel-good pieces to wear. Raf later noticed this effect in the models while shooting, who just instinctively started dancing around in these woolly onesies. He felt moved to make the dancing part of the show.

“I could feel these moments of these boys feeling happy, feeling excited, I don’t know. It was almost like a physical feeling disconnected from anything else.” He likened it to an essential quality of fashion itself: its inherent lack of appropriateness, enabling it to entirely flip one’s personal experience of environment. It’s a salient point to take away from the show, with or without a Prada onesie to hand. As he continued, “so, why not start dancing?”

*Side note: the wallpaper would make a fabulous custom Zoom background.