On February 22nd, Prada presented it's compelling Fall / Winter 2018-2019 collection at Milan Fashion Week.
At the top of the new Fondazione Prada complex tower, sat a dimly lit room featuring floor to ceiling windows with a view of fluorescent signs in the distance. The dark atmosphere was illuminated by the bright light of bananas, a monkey, a dinosaur, and spider as the signs glowed in front of the cityscape. Trippy but intriguing, the black space was soon filled with models dressed in neon coloured pieces amid a multicoloured palette of "masculine femininity."
Two worlds collided when high class femininity met a workmen-like aesthetic. Miuccia Prada made this unusual collaboration high fashion by using conflicting materials and fluorescent colours. There were squared-parkas with bright red lapels paired with tulle-trimmed knee-length skirts. Dainty, tulle slips with coloured embroidery were draped over patterned sportswear. Hefty, workmen-like jackets with matching plaid skirts clashed over diamond-patterned jumpers. Neon work vests were placed over confetti-like skirts, accessorized with bucket hats. Tweed two pieces over bright, multi-coloured cocktail dresses with ID tags pinned at the breast. The collection was a clash of fabrics, patterns, colours, and styles - a mix of bulky, industrial pieces with classic feminine touches.
Of course, amid the array of garments, we can't forget about the bizarre accessories seen on the runway. To compliment the collection, neon pink, orange, green, and black were the colours illustrated on the handbags, while robots, animals, and new and improved logos seem to be the new "it thing."
Models were carrying single, stud embossed strap handbags with robot faces printed across the front. A new, sports-like Prada logo was prominently printed across the front flaps of others. Rectangle bags featured the silhouette of a dinosaur or a monkey hanging off an upside down triangle. The return of the Cahier, with a pink and black tweed body featuring ruthenium hardware. The bowling bag is back and better than ever, seen bare with the exception of a blue logo. A bi-colour, black and red tote was seen with a very apparent print of the classic Prada logo. And last but not least, pink pillow-like clutches were carried alongside bright green, mini chain bags crafted from waterproof fabrics.
Miuccia's vision for the collection was simple - "for the strength of women going out out in the violence," she explained. "My dream is for women to be able to go out in the street and not be afraid. I wanted to have the freedom exaggerated," she continued. And suddenly, it all made sense. The collection mused feminism and safety concerns. Potentially inspired by the #MeToo movement? Who knows. But what better time than now to use fashion as a political statement in support of women.
The alluring collection evoked feelings of confusion, discomfort, and excitement. Using the runway to address larger issues bigger than just fashion or physical garments is the new direction, especially given the reality we are currently living in. "How to combine the horizons of our thoughts with the reality of our job, which, after all is a business of luxury companies which sell luxury goods to rich people?" asked Prada after her show. This is food for thought. We think Miuccia did a pretty good job by connecting her horizons to her 9-5 with her innovative and unforgettable Fall / Winter 2018 collection.
By: Isabel de Carteret