The ribbed sweaters and taffeta minis with trains from Miuccia Prada and Raf Simon’s spring collection are this season’s street-style gets—they’re easily the most photographed pieces since the designers joined forces in early 2020. That’s partly down to the pandemic—there were fewer gatherings at which to show off Prada trophies a year ago—but mostly because they make for an unexpected pairing that happens to be as easy to wear as it is identifiable. Together that adds up to something ineffable; it looks like now.
The designers’ follow-up for fall is a fitted white tank, triangular logo front-and-center, with a narrow just-below-the-knee skirt divided horizontally in different combinations. Kaia Gerber’s show-opener merged gray flannel, crushed black satin, and a crystal-dusted metallic mesh, but others were sheer to the waist, exposing the boy briefs that the models wore underneath.
These pieces formed a foundation on top of which Prada and Simons showed simple Shetland wool sweaters and others that revived the label’s breakout “ugly” prints of the ’90s; mannish single-breasted jackets and double-breasted ones decorated on the upper arms with rings of faux fur or feathers; and oversized MA1s picked out with paillettes. Again, there was that emphasis on unlikely combinations, and the sense of import that kind of intentionality creates: making an occasion out of the everyday.
“You want to live again, to be inspired. And to learn from the lives of people,” Prada said in a statement that was distributed after the show. Our great post-pandemic reawakening has been foreshortened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and incipient war, but her point remains: dress like you mean it.
The silhouette didn’t reach the extremes of the men’s collection last month, but the proportions—of black coat dresses draped with askew pearl necklaces, of leather trenches in black and shocking pink—were exaggerated. The shapes conveyed strength, not the decorum or daintiness that the lingerie foundation underneath might suggest. That message was underlined by the cast, which included models who walked Prada runways 20 years ago—Erin O’Connor, Liya Kebede, Elise Crombez, and Hannelore Knuts—amidst new faces like Hunter Schafer.
As has become their practice, Prada and Simons were looking back at past Prada collections. “I think of revolutionary moments in Prada’s history, and we echo them here,” Simons said in his statement. “There are never direct recreations, but there is a reflection of something you know, a language of Prada.” Scrolling through the archive to find the reference isn’t the point, though fashion obsessives will have lots to work with here. More interesting is how together they made something sort of implausible—like, say, a herringbone coat with that proportion-shifting acid green faux fur treatment on the sleeves—suddenly look right.
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