If any two designers can dig deep, below rock, silt, hell, even the earth’s core, to penetrate the essence of raw, it would be Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. Their latest show was a celebration of the simplistic, call it a wholehearted embrace, even.
The pair invited director Nicolas Winding Refn [Drive, The Neon Demon] to create an experience around the clothes, the Danish filmmaker choosing a setting, or panopticon, of dark walls and neon-hued windows. Refn also made a series of short films, shown at Foundazione Prada, that circled around the facets of femininity Prada has always found so enriching.
Carrying over into the labels’ SS23 womenswear offering, barriers of the formal and informal blurred as shirts slipped into comfy longjohns, a pyjamas-for-the-office sort of vibe: business on Zoom, bed-ready downstairs. Minidresses in sharp, untailored silhouettes teased blink-or-you’ll miss it crumples, an oh-so-tuck of fabric that morphed into an after-shower wrap. Baby blue shifts were loose and liberating, enduring with a chicness many couldn’t even hope to replicate after a thousand hours of hopeless draping. And slip silks weren’t delicate but armour-like, singed and frayed as if they emerged from their own ashes.
There were leather opera coats with moto collars, or big, double buttons. Some opaque and angelic, their sleeves trimmed with soft flourishes of lace, their shoulders decaying and cocoon-like, as if waiting to burst into their next form. Knitted twinsets were similarly wan, specs of glitter spinning an air of the clerical into somewhere far more thrilling. Call it a subversion of the domestic – reaffirmed in wallpaper-y fabrics of faded florals – that the Prada woman jumps through and tears down, wearing like a badge of honour.
GALLERYCatwalk images from Prada WOMENS-SPRING-SUMMER-23