Today during Milan Fashion Week, we saw the new Prada collection. Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada gave us a Fall 22 collection full of urban modernism.
Prada has always stood out for being a brand that prioritizes innovation its collections in tis search for new materials and technology, thanks to Miuccia Prada. Ms. Prada joined the company in the 1970s and has since revolutionized not only this brand founded by her grandfather, but also the fashion industry. With the introduction of new materials such as nylon in accessories and bags (we can’t overlook the brand’s iconic Vela backpack from 1984) and clothing, the brand has caused a stir for using utilitarian textiles that were unknown to the luxury world. From then until now, the brand’s collections have taken it fashion two steps further into the future.
The Prada family has a passion for art. This Italian house has always been an avid supporter and patron of the arts. We all know about the Fondazione Prada and how it’s become a beacon for young artists. All this love for art has also been translated into prêt-à-porter collections, in which each garment is a blank canvas for creativity. All this creativity, originality and curiosity are qualities shared by the Belgian designer Raf Simons, who since the Spring 2019 collection has been co-designer for the Italian brand. The collaboration between Miuccia and Raf is making Prada once again a brand that changes the way the industry works. Just think back to their show last season, which took place simultaneously in Milan and Shanghai. Prada is one of the brands that all fashion fans have their eyes on. During the second day of Milan Fashion Week, this Italian brand founded in Milan in 1913 gave us a collection that celebrated women. But it went beyond celebrating the female body through beautifully made garments. Prada invited us to celebrate history, creativity, talent, and women themselves.
This collection was full of utilitarian outfits: garments that prioritized function over form. We saw minimalist, oversized dresses and knit sweater ensembles with pleated wool skirts, masculine leather coats and oversized puffer jackets. The collection was full of genderless garments and had a menswear feel overall all, but just like the minds behind the collection, the garments themselves boast duality. The outfits in this collection tell us the story of modern femininity, one in which womenswear isn’t fragile but strong. But this newfound strength doesn’t mean that we no longer see feminine, subtle, delicate side. There were sequins, mesh with crystals, faux fur details, metallic satin, and PVC flowers. Overall, it was a balance between masculine and feminine.
In Januar, Miuccia and Raf introduced “Prada Man”, a new archetype of masculinity. Now, they gave us “Prada Woman”, and we could see the clear parallels in the garments: maxi leather coats that looked like armor and oversized silhouettes that swallowed up the models. And, if we couldn’t see it in the clothing, we could see it in the runway itself. Today’s scenery was similar to the last but slight modification to the color of the light. The choice to use the same backdrop as the Fall 22 menswear collection may have something to do with the brand’s view on sustainability, but I’d like to think it’s also a message about gender equality. All genders are equal, and that’s why clothing is becoming more and more homogeneous. Prada is telling us about the future, about the needs of our society through its collections. And, that is what fashion should be–not mere pieces of cloth but a conversation that reflects our community.