Prada Pre-Fall 2020
Prada delves into the paint box for their latest pre-fall collection
At first glance you would think it’s the colour in the Prada pre-fall 2020 collection that brings it to life. And you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Colour plays a huge role, but not in the psychedelic way you might first imagine. Instead colour is used to set a stage that extends way beyond the clothes themselves. In fact, colour is even used as the framing device that allows the colours in the collection itself to tell their own stories. So the long, black school mistress dress teamed with thick grey tights and ‘sensible’ shoes tells a completely new story to what you might imagine when placed in an all-encompassing, deep purple environment. And it’s that visual framing and use of exciting colour cues that enhances what is a deceptively simple yet beautiful collection.
As is the Prada style, this collection doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator of ‘sex sells’. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find any skin on display here at all. Necklines are sometimes up to the chin, skirts are calf-length, shoes look comfortable to walk a whole day in and even bare arms are only occasionally seen. In place of cheap sex appeal we instead have elegance and class underwritten with a little subversiveness and even a little fun. So rather than Prada’s colourful checks being cut on the horizontal they’re instead cut on the diagonal for more visual interest. Sometimes primary colours are all blocked together in one outfit that, by rights, should be quite harsh on the eyes in theory, but in practice Prada makes it look as though bright primary colours were actually designed to be put together this way.
With the modesty quotient this high in a collection, a lesser designer might have fallen into the trap of (small c) conservatism without even realising it. And there’s a very good reason why no-one ever coined the phrase ‘conservatism sells’. Miuccia Prada, it should be remembered, has long been known as a design genius in fashion and her genius here is to make sure the sharp edge to this collection is found in the cut (pun intended). The long skirts sit beautifully on the waist with a slight taper outwards to the hem. Coupled with one of the various ruffled blouses in numerous colours and the whole silhouette suddenly comes together like a fashionable jigsaw puzzle. The overcoats are similarly cut with that same exquisite bias towards a defined waist and slightly wider hemline. Many might think duffel coats would be a hard ask in the ‘make it chic’ stakes, but not for Prada. The hooded tan and collared burnt chocolate duffel coats manage to look deliciously luxurious and epically stylish at the same time.
Even the more office-oriented, skirt-suit looks have that subtle edge to them that will give people a moment of pause as you walk by. Special mention also has to go to the thigh-length boots throughout the collection. Whether its the 70s style, green snakeskin versions with the stacked platform soles and heels, or the 60s style patent leather versions in orange, yellow or red, it’s almost impossible to, first, not smile when you see them and, second, not immediately want them when you’re done smiling. For most, that should be the natural reaction to seeing the entire collection on the hangers this autumn.
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