Come September, Miuccia Prada will no longer hold sole charge of the artistic reins at her family’s fashion house, as Raf Simons officially comes on board as the co-creative director of Prada. A fact that imbues yesterday’s joint presentation of the Spring/Summer 2021 men’s and Resort 2021 women’s collections with a particular significance. Her solo swan song, if you will.
It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Mrs Prada chose to go back to the very essence of the brand and examine its meaning — how are clothes worn, and where, and why? The answer comes in the form of a collection that speaks at once of simplicity and complexity, of sportswear and formality, of classicism and futurism.
Menswear offerings are characterised by sharp and fitted silhouettes in stretch materials and Prada’s signature nylon, playing with conventional ideas of tailoring, while couture-like volumes and elements borrowed from lingerie add a touch of drama to the looks for women.
Such quietly sophisticated pieces are juxtaposed with a variety of preppy sportswear, including nylon windbreakers, knit polo shirts and mesh tennis skirts, lending a sense of energy, fun, and enjoyment. The timeless nature of the designs is underscored by a neutral palette of white, black and grey, punctuated with flashes of soft pastels and floral prints.
“I think that our job as fashion designers is to create clothes for people, that is the honesty of it. That is really the value of our job — to create beautiful, intelligent clothes,” said Miuccia Prada. “This season, we focussed on that idea: it is about clothes, about giving value to pieces. The clothes are simple — but with the concept of simplicity as an antidote to useless complication.”
In lieu of a live runway show, the minimalist lineup was showcased via a series of five short films, titled The Show That Never Happened. Each of the five chapters was lensed by a different image-maker, including Juergen Teller, Willy Vanderperre, Martine Syms, Terence Nance, and Joanna Piotrowska, all of whom contributed a fascinating and personal point of view on the Prada universe.
“We are used to doing fashion shows. But the moment you can’t do a physical show, you have to invent another work,” explained Miuccia Prada. “It is not what we know. So instead, we. Decided to give five different people, five different chapters, and complete creative freedom. The concept is something I have always believed in: that once I create clothes, they belong to the life of people. They belong to others. This format is a gesture — meaning that these clothes are not mine anymore.”
Watch the five films below.