2nd February 2023

Prada SS23 Campaign

Meg Parrott looks into the themes behind Muiccia and Raf's new chapter

Creative partners Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons return as collaborative auteurs for Prada’s SS23 brand campaign.  Despite being coined Touch of Crude, its execution proves to be anything but.  Shot by long-time collaborator David Sims with an accompanying film by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn – fondly referred to as NWR – this new story conveys what the famed Italian House does best – intellectual creation influenced by interdisciplinary and converging artforms.

Consolidating the photographic medium with the language of filmmaking, the story explores the character and complexities of Hollywood, balanced with the irrefutable depth of European film.  Featuring an ensemble of established names and rising stars, the cast includes leading names from stage, screen and magazine cover.  With the likes of Top Boy’s Letitia Wright, Pistol’s Louis Partridge and model Rachel Williams, for those whose careers are built on the portrayal of characters, they brought all the drama to be expected of a new Prada campaign.

The series of images bring with them a cinematic experience that will have necks craned up at billboards as people stop to ponder.  Normality appears at a first glance. Pensive or arresting gazes suggest otherwise.  The onlooker becomes the voyeur.  Stark sets, minimal compositions and crisp, dramatic lighting leaves little room for the imagination.  Look to this as a reflection of Prada’s refined sartorial view.

Whether Vincent Cassel’s conversational demeanour adjacent a messenger, or Hunter Schafer’s absent-mindedly clutching her mauve tote like any well-dressed muse, an accompanying Prada bag is always the star of the show.  Each a stark leather silhouette dressed in the label’s signature triangle logo as icing on the cake.  The styling underscores this dynamic with clean, peerless tailoring that comes wearable for the everyday, but with elevated fit and form to propel it into high art.  In Muiccia and Raf’s world, design technicality is King (and Queen).

Alongside the imagery, NWR’s atmospheric film extends the curious conceptual mood of the campaign.  Moving into her new home, the film’s protagonist is greeted by a mysterious black box.  Peering in, it becomes a portal to witnessing a universe of creative possibility.  The film premiered around Europe in October and November last year, and at Fondazione Prada’s Cinema in Milan in January.  Proving that, for Prada, fashion may be the business but it’s the imagination that makes it iconic.


To watch NWR’s Touch of Crude, click here

Click here to read our last feature on Prada

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