MILAN, ITALY: Of the neutral-hued heart-thumping looks storming down Prada’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway along Via Lorenzini on Thursday, a moment of unanticipated reprieve; Magenta! Cyber yellow! In a palette that harks back to what the Italian luxuriate is known for, it is this look where the technical makings of this simple and yet complexly constructed collection is perhaps the most obvious to the sartorial eye.
Yes, inside the darkened, dungeon-esque space at Fondazione Prada – a panopticon hemmed in by reels of black paper walls, and with boxes as seats – a collection made with paper-based fabric was spectacularly presented. With intentional rifts and creases, and as though torn off the body in a single primal, impulsive and intimate moment, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons set out to show “the interrelationship between the raw and the sensual, delicacy and roughness”, the show notes read. In the aforementioned look, the skirt was “ripped” to the thigh in an act of emancipation, visually evident against the bright shades.
Day and evening clothes deftly cross-pollinated. A sheer, black night gown once exclusively reserved for the boudoir was delicately styled with an industrial-hued, poplin collared jumpsuit. The archetypal classic blazer – structured and strong – adopted a bow and a train. Bags in antique nappa were pressed and wrinkled (this is a very exciting update to your favourite Prada silhouettes) and knits were hand-steamed with creases intentionally pressed in phenomenal detailing.
This play on polarities presented in folds and wrinkles is Prada’s ever-evolving reinterpretation of modern femininity. A breaking free from the restrictions of societal fare and, via minimalism and decoration, occasion and every day, an ode to the wonderful dichotomies we live in in our daily lives.
To this point, every so often the set walls were interrupted by, what appeared to be, parts where somebody had punched holes in. Guests could look through the abstract peep shows to see the works of Danish filmmaker Nicholas Winding Refn and his short films which explored the lives of women and the grand scope of femininity.
Bravo, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. This partnership remains one of the most exciting of the fashion week calendar.