The message behind Prada’s “surreal glamour” collection was plain and simple; women are powerful and the clothes they wear can help embody that. Miuccia beautifully contrasted a variety of colours, shapes and materials subtly departing from the previous F/W shows in previous years.
Prada opted for an unconventional runway show lifting the audience above the setting, which featured several pieces of abstract artwork and patterns as well as a series of interconnected open doors. The artwork itself had a huge centre piece of Eros holding the world, again showing her symbolism for power, whether it be Prada itself or women varying the world.
The show itself was lowly lit with an ambient red tone in the doors, this allowed the outfits to blend together with the setting, much rather than vibrantly stand out as is typically done.
Initially the collection seemed to suggest it was for the working woman, with oversized oxford shirts and blazers, all grey or another dull colour, while the makeup seemed nude and pale. The models sped up the walk, emerging through different doors capturing the mood of what it might be like to stand out among the crowd as a working woman travelling through the streets. Then, suddenly, as quickly as the music switched tone, colour appeared.
The silhouette of the working women remained prominent throughout, but the appearance of colour juxtaposed this very idea. With pastel shaded accessories and fringe patches the masculine blazers of old became much more feminine. Each model exhibited just a hint of colour which progressively increased, bright ties and tights contrasted the padded nylon jackets.
As this progressed many more traditional elements of femininity were brought into the fold, with deconstructed fringe-like pleat miniskirts, stunning mid-European embroidery and tiny bags – lots of tiny bags – covering almost every part of the models. Yet the tailoring and traditional menswear elements remained with Gigi Hadid styling a mesmerising grey wide collar blazer.
The message couldn’t have been clearer, the contrast between masculinity and femininity, exciting colours and dark tones, exotic lingerie and professional shirts. All representing the power of women, how perceived feminine traits, can be made to make the modern woman powerful. The individualism of each outfit also supported progression in the fashion world, as if each individual outfit has been carefully curated for the model in contrast to a typical trend followed.
In what seems like a show about the progression of women, one couldn’t help but feel it was Miuccia herself who was juxtaposed. Sure, her signature fringe and embroidery styles were present in the show, but with profits steadily dropping and heavy Raf Simons rumours. Is this the end of an era for Prada?