“Often we speak about reduction — here, instead, from something simple we expand.” This is Miuccia
In a corrugated steel-clad room in the Deposito of the Fondazione Prada, a soundtrack of Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” bounced off the walls before slime descended from the ceilings. The collection’s name, “Fluid Form,” now made more sense than ever before. And in true Raf and Miuccia tradition, the show wasn’t just a gimmick, it completely complemented the collection and everything it stood for.
Starting with a black shirt, Prada soon developed the signature sartorial statement into a series of tailored and tucked ensembles. Shirts had deep V-necks digging into pant shorts, giving the eye an illusion of a boiler suit that Raf’s Prada has served us numerous times before. Such elevation continued, as shirts sprouted floral appliqués and bouquets blooming from the chest, while others were fringed and decorated in colorful patterns, clashing against stark white backdrops.
The show “felt very Raf,” and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In doing so, Prada’s formalities met technical elements in the debut of utility vests, while reporter jackets and raincoats added retrofuturistic tech-spy smarts to an already diversely referential collection.
The notion of fluidity came and went, as things that are usually structured — like bags — were soft and cushiony, while eyewear was rigid. Shoes were equally unusual, as various models sported an angular, square-toe slipper not too far removed from the seminal Prada Cup, if it were to become retrospectively formal and futuristic.
On this, Simons added: “‘How can an idea that is cliché be different? The suit, the shirt. This collection is about questioning conventions, of structure and of masculinity. And we explore the idea of how tailoring can feel completely different from how we know it. If you look at the tailoring in the show, it is a classicist man’s suit, but when you actually see it, it feels completely different. It allows the body, which is always in movement and always in transformation, to feel free. To feel comfort and ease. We began everything from the idea of shirting, its structure, its lightness. We were thinking a lot about the body — to give freedom to the body, even if our interest is to show references to archetypes and architecture in fashion, which is usually restrictive. So we applied the structure to a whole spectrum of masculine garments, giving them all lightness, an ease and comfort.”
Miuccia Prada also said: “Life and understanding of life is so complex — simplicity can be too simple. We were interested rather in this elaboration, in this expansion. Sophistication of thoughts allow a reconsideration of simple things. We start with the white shirt — the most simple. And from that base, from a base of the most basic and normal, you can do whatever you like. It allows transformation, and individuality. Talking about bodies, you speak about individuals – the individuality of people, and therefore about an individuality of thinking.”
Overall, Prada SS24 was a play on making formality more than its designated codes. It decoded sartorial disciplines, and in doing so, liberated the collaborative mother and father of high fashion.
Prada Spring/Summer 2024 Men’s can be seen in the gallery above.
In case you missed it, check out the rest of Milan Fashion Week SS24 here.