At Prada SS23, Miuccia and Raf explored the transformative power of ‘normal’ clothes
Fashion | 19 June 2022

Prada’s latest muse isn’t a talented performer, scene-stealing actor or even a social media influencer: it’s a piece of fabric.

Tapping into a back-to-the-basics spirit that conjures up notions of childhood freedom and rose-tinted domestic bliss, this season Miuccia and Raf are totally head over heels for gingham. The unfussy, repeat pattern that covers the grass at picnics and summer dresses at primary school, is the toast of baby-blue Dorothy Gale tributes and a centrepiece to any cottagecore-inspired home decor, but for Prada, it lends itself to a total disregard of decoration, to focus instead on the practice of design. 

Despite the uber-cool Hollywood glitterati spaced out across the front row – each Gyllenhaal and Goldblum transfixed by the brand’s slender rain macs and thin sports jackets – the show was a fierce rejection of opulence. Leather played a crucial role too, in rugged unitards, overcoats and jumbo tote bags. The production focused on the ‘base’ of our style choices, on simplicity as a governing principle to life, with the pair considering the why’s and what’s of dress in loose, ruffled blazers, dark plaid pullovers and juvenile, striped knitwear.

Even the setting was a non-event: an intimate house with plain white walls and imposingly large windows, stirred by Sonic Youth’s plucky guitars and the husky drawl of frontwoman, Kim Gordon. With such a definitively blank canvas at their disposal, it’s here that the mix of functional fabrics and their eccentric pairings form what Raf Simons describes as “a kind of anti-logic”, jumbling the raw, sophisticated, nonsensical and effortless together to create something new – and purposely odd. “That for us is fashion, now,” said Miuccia Prada.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Prada SPRING-SUMMER-2023