“Often we talk about reduction – here, instead, from something simple, we expand.” It’s Miuccia
In a room clad in corrugated steel in the Deposito de la Fondazione Prada, a soundtrack of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nail bounced off the walls before mud poured down from the ceilings. The name of the collection, “Fluid Form”, now made more sense than ever. 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 quickly developed the signature sartorial statement into a series of tailored, tucked-in ensembles. The shirts had deep V-necks tucking into the shorts, giving the eye the illusion of a work suit that Raf’s Prada has served us many times before. Such elevation continued, as some shirts sprouted floral appliqués and blooming bouquets across the chest, while others were fringed and decorated with colorful patterns, clashing with stark white backdrops.
The show “felt very Raf,” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In doing so, Prada’s formalities met technical elements in early utilitarian vests, while reporter’s jackets and raincoats added retro-futuristic tech spy tricks to an already diversely referential collection.
The notion of fluidity came and went, as things that are usually structured – like bags – were soft and fluffy, while glasses were rigid. The shoes were equally unusual, as various models sported an angular, square-toed slipper not too far from the seminal Prada cut, if it were to become retrospectively formal and futuristic.
On this, Simons added: “’How can an idea that’s cliché be different? The suit, the shirt. This collection is about questioning convention, structure and masculinity. And we explore the idea of how tailoring can look completely different from how we know it. If you look at the tailoring in the show, it’s a classic men’s suit, but when you actually see it, it looks completely different. It allows the body, always in motion and always in transformation, to feel free. To feel comfort and ease. We all started with the idea of shirting, its structure, its lightness. We thought a lot about the body, about giving freedom to the body, even if our interest is to show references to the archetypes and the architecture of fashion, which is generally restrictive. We have therefore applied the structure to a whole range of men’s clothing, making them all light, easy and comfortable.
Miuccia Prada also said: “Life and the understanding of life are so complex – simplicity can be too simple. We are more interested in this elaboration, this expansion. Sophistication of thoughts makes it possible to reconsider simple things. We start with the white shirt — the simplest. And from that base, from a most basic and normal base, you can do whatever you want. It allows transformation and individuality. By speaking of bodies, you speak of individuals – of the individuality of people, and therefore of an individuality of thought.
Overall, Prada SS24 was a game of formality more than its designated codes. He decoded the disciplines of dress and in doing so liberated the collaborative mother and father of high fashion.
Prada Spring/Summer 2024 Men can be seen in the gallery above.
In case you missed it, check out the rest of Milan Fashion Week SS24 here.