In their sophomore collaboration as co-creative directors of Prada, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada made long johns the menswear piece of the autumn/winter 2021 season. Here, British Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen brings you five things to know about Prada’s autumn/winter 2021 menswear collection.
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The show reflected the way lockdown has impacted us
If lockdown 3.0 has taken cabin fever to new heights, the Prada show expressed that sentiment pretty well. Between runway footage of models moving through vibrant furry rooms (which kind of evoked padded cells), flashes of boys dancing frantically on their own seemed to mimic a feeling we’ve all experienced over the past year. Whether it was one-man raving or stir craziness manifesting, it reflected the emotional rollercoaster of life in confinement, and the here-we-go-again reality of our year-long lockdown lifestyles.
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The set was covered in vivid faux fur
“The focus of this collection was about physicality against constriction,” Miuccia Prada said, flanked by Raf Simons for a Q&A session with students from around the world after the virtual presentation. “Architecture helped us to describe the feeling we had: this strange, abstract place that’s not inside and not outside: tactility and sensuality.” Said feeling was captured in the synthetic colours of the faux fur walls that framed her and Simons’s set, but also in garments that balanced the introverted with the extroverted.
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The show made a case for knitted long johns
Strings of overcoats were sure to excite both Prada and Simons’s diehard fanbases: enormous flight jackets lined in geo-patterned knitwear, drop-shouldered coats in graphic diagonal corduroy, and all the vivid colours a post-lockdown mentality could wish for. But it was what was underneath that really defined the show. The solitary ravers were wearing super-tight knitted jumpsuits in exuberant patterns; part comfort-wear, and part attention magnet.
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The long johns reflected our confinement mentality
If the jumpsuits—or long johns, as the designers referred to them—gave you baby vibes, it wasn’t entirely incorrect. “We like the childlike and playful,” Simons said on a video call after the show—something those double-breasted baby doll coats with big buttons supported—“But we also like masculinity: the very opposite.” He related the latter idea of long johns to a “sexual cowboy in a saloon,” which may have been an appropriate reference for how we feel these days… we can’t really decide if we want to stay under a duvet forever, or if we can’t wait to be swinging from a chandelier again.
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Prada and Simons are getting along just fine
Miuccia Prada said this moment in time is about accepting the temporary circumstances, noting that she had been working from home while Simons had been working in the Prada building. “It’s my principle to enjoy what I have. I have to say that I appreciate this time of concentration.” Asked how their collaboration was going one season in, she and Simons said there weren’t many disagreements to resolve. “If one of us really hates something we don’t do it,” Prada explained. “We are constantly having discussions about ideas and if our ideas don’t match we just move on,” Simons added. “Although,” Prada said, “I hate pinstripes and this show is full of them. But it’s good to change your mind. I always want to change my mind.”
This article was originally published on British Vogue.