How important and inspiring is men’s fashion today? Very. No less a creative force than when Miuccia Prada used her fall runway to indulge her fascination with gender and explore its representation and cross-pollination in dress.
Her show Sunday night served up acres of black nylon for him and her, carved into austere, lightweight coats and boxy shirts that winked to the early Nineties, when minimal backpacks with a triangular plaque catapulted the Milanese brand to the luxury big leagues. Men’s looks nodded to uniforms with tab-less epaulets and permanent, regulation-issue creases. The women’s coats, and an army of plunging little black dresses, were festooned with grosgrain panels and bows propped on shoulders, and that’s all they needed. Both sexes toted serious, briefcase-like bags.
“I wanted to make it elegant and modern. What does it mean? I don’t know,” the designer shrugged backstage, loathe to ascribe any sociological or political import to her severe and dark collection: “At the end, we only liked black, blue and gray, more or less.”
Prada’s done strict and serious before, but it’s new to the Insta generation. The men’s tailoring was precise and youthful, hinged on tubular suits and coats, the six-button double-breasted models the newsiest — and bound to be influential. Models filed briskly through a series of rooms wallpapered with veiny marble, the low ceilings, floors and corridors clad in aluminium plates.
The set was imposing, and slightly claustrophobic, but it seems it left no sinister impression. “Everybody said that it looks like a new disco,” Prada said with a laugh.