One of the most anticipated shows of the season just debuted at Milan Fashion Week —
Against an over-proportioned house made of raw paper – much like the material used for the show’s invitations – the collection immediately unfolded to a booming Sonic Youth soundtrack inside the Fondazione Prada as a couture concession emerged, muted in its choice of colors but undeniably exquisite. The word ‘choice’ is apt, as the collection is titled ‘Prada Choices’, as if the creative duo had selected your uniform for the upcoming season.
With this in mind, it becomes clear that looks can be mixed and matched accordingly, dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Suits, overcoats, sweaters, shirts, denim and leather dominated the looks; each in their own right a staple of menswear. But for Prada, these familiar garments became the subject of understanding the intricacy that goes into their creation – again, reminiscent of the Prada origami show invitations that opened to reveal a plaid coat or shirt.
Serving up seemingly simplistic silhouettes, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons focused attention on what’s important in fashion: dressing fundamentals. Suits were pleated and pinched in all the right places, exaggerated at the shoulders and pinched at the waist, while the form-fitting knit cut accentuated our natural body shapes.
Throughout the collection there was a youthful nostalgia – the shorts were all grown up in leather with metal hardware, the overcoats took us on a picnic of red, pink and blue checkered ensembles, while the pants were closer to the body than usual and finished in a crop, nodding to the times when you’ve grown out of your school uniform.
Speaking about the collection, Raf Simons said: “We are drawn to the idea of ’normal’ clothing – the classic pieces, the archetypes, the wardrobe. But the same garment in different materializations entirely changes their language; they work in different ways. Then mixing that with other pieces transforms it again. Each garment is simple, direct, pure, but there is complexity in their combinations and context. The clothes are classic, but their mix contradicts each other, which makes them exciting and new. There’s leather against the body, then cotton on top — there’s a kind of anti-logic in the combination of clothes, a quirk. A combination of rawness and sophistication in these clothes is also important. The contrast of classicism and spontaneity gives it a sensitivity, an emotion.
Miuccia Prada added: “The collection is about simplicity as a concept, as a choice. We are interested in the idea of fashions, in the idea of trends even and this is one of them. These were clothes that people could actually wear, but with impact. It’s the fashion for us now. As long as the base is really a conceptual choice – a coat, jeans, a suit. They look simple but are the result of a process, of a choice — there are hundreds of layers, why is this the right one? It’s a combination of a long design and decision process, and then instinct. It’s a matter of style.”
Ultimately, Prada SS23 gives you, the wearer, choice. It’s about finding your uniform and understanding the complexity behind something supposedly simple. “Prada Choices” can be seen in the gallery and film above, while more Milan Fashion Week coverage can be found on HYPEBEAST.
If you like technical details, take a look at the Spring 2023 collection from Our Legacy.