Can opposites attract?
Miuccia Prada was determined to find out with this high-energy show that played with proportions and fused past and future, old and new, sporty and formal — all in the name of dressing the modern man.
Models looked as if they were headed somewhere important, walking briskly through a fascist-style piazza designed by AMO, part of Rem Koolhaas’ architecture firm. At the center of this surreal, unnerving set was a monument that looked more like a flat-pack wooden toy than a mounted military hero on a pedestal, which created a graphic shadow. The set’s offbeat colors — mauve, red, pea green — mirrored those of the collection.
Prada said she wanted to explore extremes, which explains the skinny sweater vests exposing models’ bare arms, and the chunky, cozy Fair Isles with colored pixel patterns instead of snowflakes.
Jackets swung from the fitted, as in two- and three-button styles in colors like blue clay, to the oversize and boxy, resembling school uniform blazers.
The latter came in wool or corduroy in shades of camel, corn, chartreuse, or bright red. Trousers were cool — tailored with cuffs or languid with stripes down the side. Sporty stirrups secured them all to chunky leather boots or lace-up shoes.
It was the same story with coats, which came either as sharp, tailored double-breasted numbers or fluid with rounded shoulders. Shearlings were shiny or matte.
Even the fabrics were a study in contrasts, a mix of traditional materials with recycled fibers, and cashmere with stretch.
In a Milan men’s weekend when there was nary a streetwear vibe in sight, Prada helped lead the way as designers firmly return to a dressed-up, more tailored look. And she clearly puts into practice her ideas of melding the dressy and relaxed — she took her bow in strappy silver heels worn with little blue socks, skinny trousers and an oversize navy v-neck lit up by a thick rope of Art Deco diamonds. With this collection, she clearly shone bright like a diamond.