“A piece of clothing serves the role of making you feel better.” So says Miuccia Prada, during a live Q&A with her new co-creative director, Raf Simons, moments after the pair showcased their first collaborative collection, Spring Summer ’21, at a socially-distanced Milan Fashion Week. The debut was, by far, one of the most anticipated moments of this season.
Miuccia Prada has spent the last four decades single-handedly building her namesake label into a global fashion juggernaut and few modern designers seemed up to the task of building on her legacy. But Simons—the Belgian mastermind who founded a cult following during his stints at Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein—was one of the few who seemed capable. His appointment was announced shortly after the brand’s Autumn Winter ’21 show in February, in the quiet few days before COVID-19 shook Europe. The news sent the fashion-obsessed corners of Instagram to a frenzy—it was the perfect symbiotic pairing of two creative powerhouses.
That all seems eons ago now, but the excitement at what a new chapter of Prada may look like hadn’t dimmed in the intervening six months. The show debuted via livestream this evening, and offered a brilliant marrying of the codes of Prada (re-worked Nylon, abstract prints, retro logos) and the codes of Raf—slim-line tailoring, structured two-pieces and a reverence for ‘uniform’ dressing.
The accessories are likely to become serious Instagram fodder once they hit the market in February (think puffy kitten heels, top handle totes and swinging Prada tag earrings), while a handful of looks ushered in the unlikely renaissance of the poodle skirt—belted and paired with layered shrunken woollen jumpers. Another stand-out was the recurring hue of canary yellow, which also lined the walls of the venue, and oversized printed hoodies, which looked surprisingly chic with a Miuccia-esque silk white skirt.
In short? It was wonderful. And in a moment where good news is few and far between, it provided something the fashion obsessives amongst us can indulge in—a moment of pure, creative joy.