Prada SS23 – Milan Fashion Week
Harriet Taylor reviews the new summer collection from Miuccia and Raf at MFW
The Prada SS23 collection at Milan Fashion Week was intriguingly titled A Touch of Crude and explored a recurring theme of dichotomy. The show itself was staged in a darkened, antipodal version of the paper house that was used to present the menswear collection in June earlier this year. The same paper rolls, strung from ceiling to floor, created an engulfing chamber; the only escape offered being through the torn windows and glimpses of film clips produced in collaboration with Danish film director, Nicholas Winding Refn.
The short films spoke to the bliss and the threat of domesticity, the fluid identity of women in an ever-changing professional landscape, and the position of gender within our cultural climate. They asked what it means to exist as a woman in today’s world – to which Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons provided important answers through a collection that was as emotive as it was reflective. Familiar aesthetics were refracted through different prisms and new theories and observations were introduced to the conversation for us to deliberate and wonder over.
The contrasts of darkness and light as a representation of the humanity of the lived female experience echoed in incomplete colour block prints on silk dresses that felt purposefully unfinished and imperfect. This same motif continued through to tailoring disrupted with intentional creasing and folding.
Prada’s iconographic utilitarian style shone in the poplin bodysuits, representing a stark and minimalist reality when compared against the fanciful, lace-trimmed opera coats in hues of cream and ivory. It was these juxtapositions that encapsulated the story overall. The crudeness of the title was found in the presence of the irregular hems, ripped splits and uneven seam detailing. It followed then that the duality of human nature came next on the catwalk in the form of neatly knitted two-piece ensembles.
Through the collection we saw every iteration of the word ‘design’ – be it in fashion, stage, or character. And yet, the work was nuanced and deceptively conceptual, leading to an instant fascination with the overarching creative narrative. Such is Raf Simon’s and Miuccia Prada’s introspective understanding of their female customer and their wants, needs, and duly noted ‘realities’.
For more information on Prada SS23, click here
Click here to read the MM6 Maison Margiela Milan Fashion Week review