You could say that the Prada Spring/Summer ’20 show was the “golden ticket” at Milan Fashion Week. And quite literally, as the presentation exuded a glided tone, where guests were greeted by giant gold columns and pillars as they entered the Prada Fondazione Deposito. To add to the vintage atmosphere, the show space was also beautifully floored in geometric tiles in shades of white, lilac, lemon, teal, and black. Think mid-century Milanese bathroom meets Art Deco—much like the Prada Galleria flagship in Milan that just celebrated its 100th anniversary—a stark switcheroo from her industrialist-goth ambience for Autumn/Winter ’19.
What prevails season after season is Mrs Prada’s innate ability to appeal to a wide range of personalities. Who else could have the power to bring Hollywood icons and music game changers like Nicole Kidman, Wes Anderson, and rapper A$AP Rocky into one room? An unconventional cast of “who’s who” to say the least, but therein lies the power of Mrs Prada’s inimitable ingenuity to dive deep into the inner psyche of fashion.
For those who have taken a liking to those logocentric tops and America’s Cup windbreakers, kitschy banana prints, and hot wheel motifs from past seasons, the new collection felt like a strong juxtaposition to the flashy pieces Prada aficionados are accustomed to. Instead, Mrs Prada opted for a clean, pared-back, and elegant collection, with nods to decades of the ‘20s, ‘40s and ‘70s.
“Reduction to an essence,” as stated in the show notes. “The power of women over clothing, and of style over fashion.” To jumpstart her campaign in reclaiming the power of the “wearer”, Mrs Prada opened the show with a light grey ribbed knit polo shirt and a calf skimming white silk gauze skirt paired with gold-buckled chunky heeled loafers, reminiscent of her minimalist collections from the ‘90s. Tailoring reigned supreme in retro double-breasted blazers, often styled with a pair of relaxed fit trousers and modest A-line midi skirts. Even the more embellished pieces were simple in nature. For instance, leather skirts, diaphanous cotton dresses, and long coats adorned with motifs of beads and sequins that exuded a sense of quiet luxury.
Always on point with clever details, the accessory highlight this season was a futuristic floppy hat that came in multiple material combinations; picture the current bucket hat re-envisioned with ‘40s sophistication. Mrs Prada also swapped the pearl necklaces with chunky oversized shells, imbuing the spirit of post-war style of strict rationing, worn with white-collared shirts, cashmere sweaters, and bouclé suits.
Mrs. Prada’s notion of simplicity and classicism trickled down to her bags—always a season must-have. Woven leather bucket totes, metallic fishnet pouches, and evergreen leather crossbody bags, themed around the ‘70s bourgeois style, made serious objects of desire. Elsewhere,shoes ranging from geometric sandals to platform espadrilles emanated a quirky and nonchalant attitude.
As one of the most powerful and influential figures in fashion, Mrs Prada is no stranger to creating new dialogues through her collections, often sparking fresh perspectives on the ever-evolving socio-political landscape. This season is no different, however what’s important to note is her clear-cut message that’s needed now, more so than ever, in this Big Blue Marble we call home. How can conscious consumerism exist in this current state of fragility? For now, this season’s collection may serve as an answer, as with the alpha alliance of Belgian designer Raf Simons at the helm as co-creative director—a celebration of ideas that will no doubt take the label beyond the future. After all, two heads are certainly better than one. “We have to re-look at how creativity can evolve,” the former creative director for Dior and chief creative officer for Calvin Klein said at a press conference, to which Mrs Prada responded with “I’m very excited … and this, will bring new wind.” A wind of change, indeed.