The long wait is finally over. The announcement of a partnership between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons—two of the world’s most prolific designers—sent the fashion world into a kerfuffle in February, but that excitement was soon drowned out by the global pandemic. However, the buzz resumed a few days before the start of Prada’s spring/summer 2021 show.
“I hope everything is not going to be too boxy and oversized,” exclaimed a VIP customer at the Prada Paragon store when the conversation surrounding the collaboration between the designers came up. I, too, often view shows with a different perspective. Our local consumers have a very different way of viewing fashion and a collection that’s too out there doesn’t always translate well in terms of sales.
But that said, the Prada live stream from last night felt personal and relatable. Shot by roving cameras, models walked around a pale-yellow room holding their coats close to their body. It felt like a nod to a significant moment in 2012 when Simons was at Jil Sander, but the act of grasping a coat at the chest (be it out of austerity or for the mere comfort of it) is something that Miuccia does unconsciously whenever she’s being photographed or is seen taking her bow at the end of a show. I found it extremely charming.
The show, which was clearly about the power of the two designers, came together with a single viewpoint of uniform dressing. The new Prada is stripped back to its basic structure of an elongated silhouette. Sleeveless tees stamped with a blown-up triangular Prada logo added a touch of modernity to the presentation. Simons is known for his love for bold graphic prints and the renowned emblem was further sliced and spliced into a myriad of symbols that made its mark on slouchy sweatshirts and ’30s-inspired full skirts paired alongside one of Miuccia’s all-time favourites—the classic slingback pump with a backward-facing kitten heel.
But the real Prada moment came in the form of the jolie laide prints lifted from her 1996 collection, now made even cooler with Simons’ graphic motifs layered upon them. In a time when functionality and practicality take precedence, this new Prada proves to have all the right propositions while keeping that sense of intelligent allure as a constant rigour in the house. Looking forward, it would be interesting to see how Miuccia and Simons can further develop the brand together and possibly even come up with a whole new design ethos that seals a new kind of Prada.