This is no time to show off, or for extreme exuberance. It’s more time for intimacy, according to Prada co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. With this in mind, they chose long johns as the defining garment in their charming, intriguing fall lineup. It was totally unexpected, and isn’t designer fashion here to surprise us?
As Prada explained during a press conference following the digital show, long johns have different connotations. “It can look romantic, sexy, playful or child-like,” said the designer. Prada and Simons put these warming undergarments under every outfit in the collection, including pin-striped blazers worn with the sleeves shoved up over the elbow. The duo interpreted the underwear to create a wide range of other designs, from jumpsuits to turtlenecks and polo shirts. All knitted, they came in different textures and a variety of jacquard motifs, which felt absolutely Prada, but that Simons previously employed in his signature men’s collections. The body-hugging knits looked sharp and distinctive amid the glut of thick fabrics and ample shapes this Milan season.
Tactility and color were two of the main elements in the lineup, further enhanced by Rem Koolhaas and AMO’s impactful set of interconnected rooms, each wallpapered with different materials, from fluffy eco-fur to slick marble, and in striking color combinations, including purple and jade green, as well as red and black. “We worked with color juxtapositions to express warmth and sensitivity, even with bold tones,” said Simons.
While the knitted jacquard styles are associated with a more domestic, cozy dimension, the variety of outerwear designs, ranging from re-nylon bombers and trenches to very graphic peacoats and coats, offered protection from the outdoor elements. The volumes were cocooning and sculptural, the models’ skinny legs bringing to mind clappers beneath big bell shapes. “We felt like reducing, minimizing,” Simons explained.
For this second co-created collection, Prada and Simons continued to leverage the power of the brand’s triangle logo, which popped up not only on the buttons of coats, but informed the shape of zippered pouches decorating clothes and accessories, including gloves.
What felt quite different from the women’s collection presented in September was how seamlessly Prada and Simons’ individual aesthetics melded. Here was a compelling blast of forward-thinking fashion.