• Text Liam Hess
  • Photography Sara Cimino
  • 18th June 2018

Sexy boy

When it comes to describing her collections, Miuccia Prada is notoriously obtuse. This time, she told journalists backstage that she was “trying to do elegant in a new, young way”. It was a disarmingly straightforward explanation.

Anyone else would take this to its logical conclusion — sportswear — but not Prada. A designer who can be relied on as a barometer for where fashion is going next took things in a more refined direction. Prada’s skill has always been her Midas-like ability to take everyday shapes and materials then render them impossibly desirable: from the nylon backpacks that made her name to the clunky heels and ugly-chic prints that have come to define her off-kilter take on womenswear at both Prada and Miu Miu.

As guests sat on inflatable purple-lit chairs, this latest offering was a reminder that however forward-thinking Miuccia’s work might be from a design perspective, functionality is always top priority: whether it’s those reliable, waterproof accessories that define the label, or new propositions like the oversized aviator hats and trousers with adjustable waistbands that are sure to be flattering on men of any body type.

Most of all, however, it plumbed the aesthetic spirit that has made her womenswear a consistent go-to for those looking for intelligent design rather than the flashy sexuality of many of her Italian contemporaries. Thigh-skimming hotpants showed serious leg and tailoring was nipped in rather than oversized, again going against the grain of the prevailing trends in menswear we’ve been witnessing over the past few weeks. There was a quiet, subversive sexiness that marked a surprising return to form for Prada: but most of all, an intense desirability.