Hunter Schafer and Kendall Jenner just walked in Prada’s AW22 show
One of the questions that Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have asked themselves, and even us through various advertisements, is: What does Prada look like? That’s a tough question, at least because Prada was never a thing. Not like Chanel and its jackets, or Dior and its hourglass silhouettes. Prada is a kind of attitude, a delicate harmony of understated silhouettes and decorative surfaces, or the high-low mix of nylon and cashmere; and all that ugly-chic stuff long before anyone else did it. Since teaming up in 2019, the two creators, a generation and a gender apart, have been experimenting with each other’s codes – or ideologies, as they called it this time around. While they may not quite have found the answer yet – and who knows, maybe they never will – we should nevertheless count our blessings. AW22 marked their best – and certainly most extravagant – collection to date, a meditation on Prada’s past, reframed with the urgency of today. Every look counted, urging you to find out what Prada looks like — wearing it!
Skirts – which have always been an object of fascination and exploration for Ms. Prada, so much so that she even organized an exhibition of them in 2004 – were a ubiquitous element of the collection. There was not a single pair of pants in sight. Instead, there were three-tone pencil skirts in combinations of crushed satin, metallic mesh, crystal-laden silks and even high-shine leather – along with a handful of chunky wool and cashmere pleated skirts that were pleated from yards and yards of fabric. “The skirt is a feminine symbol, and it’s also something you wear every day,” she once said. The New York Times. “It’s my T-shirt.” Beyond that, it’s one of the most incredible phrases ever uttered by a fashion designer, (the goes on to say that she loves the ring what do the skirts do. Sure.), it also makes this particular collection ripe for thought.
After all, femininity (or female bodies, at least) has been weaponized on the catwalks in recent seasons, with so many voyeuristic and narrow-minded ideas about what exactly femininity is. It was a different way of looking at female power and rituals. Miuccia and Raf seemed to declare that it doesn’t have to be sexually aggressive or demure, because fashion so often classifies women as lazy binaries. Sometimes it can be as loud and explosive as the fast cars, bejeweled watches and graphic pop art that men buy to assert their power. Make no mistake: here’s a woman who isn’t afraid to look fabulous, flaunt her wealth, and even offer a glimpse of her cashmere underwear through the sheer tulles of those skirts. Sure, last season Ms. P sparked a frenzy for cropped miniskirts with her Prada and Miu Miu shows – but this time the skirts were barely there, just whispered in gauzy fabrics.
Ms. Prada’s other favorite item, according to this interview? You guessed it: coats. If the skirts were light, the coats with which they were worn were monstrous. Outerwear has become as extroverted as coats should to be, the kind of coats that distract from the mundaneness of wearing a plain gray sweater or white tank top – like they did in this show. Broad-shouldered tweed coats were adorned with feather scrolls around the arms or bouncy faux-fur hair. Bomber jackets and puffer jackets got the luster treatment, adorned with clusters of petal-like sequins. Double-breasted leather blazers and trench coats (which came in olive green, terracotta, and…flaming hot pink!) had an armor-like quality. The zip-up parkas came with exaggerated hoods lined with plush shag sheepskin and trimmed with even more plumes, as a new ginger Kendall Jenner showed off. It was the kind of coat that, if you had one, you would need to tuck away in its own storage unit or just hang it by your bedside, so it would deserve space and Warning.
If the skirt is Mrs. P’s t-shirt, then the knickers and ribbed tank tops seen on Kaia Gerber, Hunter Schafer and Amanda Murphy are, quite literally, Raf’s t-shirts. He often showed off tank tops under his childlike couture at the start of his eponymous label. You can see how fascinated Raf would be with Mrs. P and her feminine way of dressing, especially as he looks at the canon of his impressive legacy and archives. The tank tops helped assert a sense of confidence and ease, much like a younger version of the cashmere sweaters Mrs. P often wears with her skirts. In fact, they almost conveyed a butch sex appeal, despite the fragility and femininity that the lingerie-like skirts suggested. Think about this photo of Anjelica Huston smoking a cigarette in a gray tank top, one hand in her jodhpurs. Or, pretty much most early photos of Collier Schorr. It’s sexy, sure, but it feels self-assured and confident – much like the trend we saw for exposed underwear in the latest wave of menswear – while tapping into the zeitgeist for that spirit of early 2000s women – high-heeled offices and cheesy romantic comedies pairing a pretty skirt with a fitted white t-shirt. Clever, right?
Perhaps what made this collection so successful was that it took a dramatic turnaround from last season, which was all about hardwearing luxury leathers, simple sweaters and hyper-detailing. feminine. Miuccia Prada has always been about the singular thematic collection, traveling from idea to idea without any sentimental guilt of abandoning a concept forever. Considering this was a collection that aimed to convey “the ideology of Prada” – ultimately it succeeded by revisiting its past. Who could forgive Raf for wanting to delve into these archives? “Valuing history means we value the history of Prada – I’m thinking of groundbreaking moments in Prada’s history, and we echo them here,” he explained. “There are never direct recreations, but there is a reflection of something you know, a language of Prada.”
“These moments helped define our idea of beauty today, which we are in the process of redefining.” This show was a reminder that, historically, when Prada is great, it’s because Miuccia follows her instincts and designs fearless clothes, sometimes so far ahead of the curve that it takes a bit of time to properly digest and then desire. , his ideas. . This time, with a touch of those Formica prints, crinkled Prada skirts and dark, luxe cuts, the collection was a step forward while acknowledging the past.
The cast of models who walked the Prada catwalks decades ago – like Erin O’Connor, Liya Kebede, Elise Crombez, Kinga Rajzak and Hannelore Knuts – served as an apt reminder that the past can be renewed in unexpected ways . Sometimes you just need to be shown something in a new context. As the show’s notes say: “A Prada ideology becomes an etymology of beauty – and it is, centrally, the work of fashion – the process of defining the meaning of beauty, for today.” Or tomorrow, for that matter – even if you don’t know it yet.
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