Prada: Stasi chic on Hollywood hipsters
A welcome return to ruddy health at Prada, where Muiccia Prada and Raf Simons unveiled their best menswear collection to date, worn by the city’s best cast.
Kyle MacLachlan opened the action it a dramatically cut midnight wrap around topcoat, like some duke returning from a successful deal-making excursion. Jeff Goldblum in a matt black gents coat finished with hefty faux astrakhan armbands and ultra-wide trim.
Where Kyle marched with a patrician, bien dans sa peau air, Jeff swung his arms actively like a swimmer treading through light surf. And, in some perfectly styling, MacLachlan’s dark blue coat was smartly contrasted by wine, Carolina-blue lightweight trousers and leather gloves.
All staged with magnificence inside the Deposito of the Fondazione Prada’s main hanger kitted out like a cinematic cathedral with a pale green carpet which also climbed up the soaring concrete columns.
Pale makeup courtesy of Pat McGrath adding to the cinematic look of the cast, who often looked like big-featured silent movie era stars. No surprising as there was also a quirky blend of weathered and fresh face actors including Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Asa Butterfield, Damson Idris, Tom Mercier, Jaden Michael, Louis Partridge, Ashton Sanders and Filippo Scotti.
Though the key to this collection was the tailoring, in a show where Miuccia and Raf sounded another death knell for the shapeless era of baggy luxury streetwear. Starring some raffishly cut double-breasted jackets with completely hidden buttons; foamy felt-wrapped redingotes and a great series of bravura German Expressionist chic spy coats with hyper-wide shoulders in burnt red, gun metal gray or Prussian blue.
“The collection celebrates the idea of working - in all different spheres and meanings. It is a practical, everyday thing. But here, you are formally important. You are not casual. And through these clothes, we emphasize that everything a human being does is important. Every aspect of reality can be elegant and dignified. Elevated, and celebrated,” said Miuccia in a release.
Due to Covid concerns, the backstage was officially closed.
Within minutes of the show, the whingeing warriors of Diet Prada were effectively claiming that Raf and Miuccia had copied the voluminous silhouette of Balenciaga. Sticking together a look from Balenciaga that, to the untutored eye, had some similarities with one of today's Stasi coats.
On closer inspection, that Slavic thrift-shop aesthetic of Balenciaga was far distant from the polished Italian luxury of Prada. But, the moaners will always be with us, won't they?
Otherwise, this Prada collection included some high-tech nylon space suits and jumpsuits that looked ideal while carrying a Geiger counter in a radioactive plant. All kitted out with matching backpacks and satchels.
Multiple balloon coats in the brand’s signature nylon in suitably moody hues rounded off the show. Nearly every look featuring some version of the Prada v-shaped logo, all the way to absurdist mini cartridge boxes worn at the small of the back.
And in an obvious poke in the eye to critics of Simons who say he has cheapened the brand with the endless V signifiers, which has included V-shaped earrings, the duo sent out mini toy-robot earrings, for guys.
Driven on by a great Human League remix soundtrack this was quite simply the most important statement in menswear so far in 2022. That good.
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