Last season, Miuccia Prada presented a disturbingly beautiful ode to sea odyssey and distressed sailors, a collection filled with sailor hats and over-sized, sloppy shirts. Naturally, it had a lot to do with the current, migrant situation, which paralyses European countries. But also, there was an idea of travelling (likely to unknown places), not necessarily to luxurious resorts and hotels. This season, Prada continues her travel motif, but back on a slightly safer land. Rather than sailor equipment, models wore durable, weather coats, boldly coloured nylon pouches with Prada torches inside and formal high-heels attached to classic, leather bags. “In case you want to have a beautiful evening,” Mrs Prada mused backstage. Ironically, because all the models were rather into ugly chic (introduced by Miuccia at the turn of 90s and 00s), all in sport sandals and woollen socks. Sleeveless vests had Velcro hoodies, just like at Marni, matching the straps which crossed the waists in slouchy way. Olivier Rizzo, Prada’s stylist, is indeed a master of styling – the outfits were so reliable that you wouldn’t distinguish a Prada model among real camping fanatics and members of an all-American Morgan family from Minnesota. But it wasn’t only about functional, yet pricey essentials for your next field trip to the forest or mountains. If you’re observant, you would have immediately spotted buddhas, palm trees and mariachi band prints on skirts and jackets for the women’s resort 2017 part. Mexico, India, maybe Scandinavian countries – somehow, all these different places on Earth were united in one collection, in one piece of clothing, without being to literal. “The core goal is to share with other people,” Prada continued. “Other cultures, other mentalities.”
Moreover, this collection ispressing hard on Prada’s heritage, so the famous backpack, which revives in new textiles and colours. According to history, in 1984 the first nylon backpack was presented to Prada clients in their oldest store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, leaving behind the dusty, ‘luxury-luggage brand’ past forever. A backpack is the symbol of Prada becoming a major fashion player, breaking the convention of elegance and giving other brands a sign – it’s the new chapter for accessories business. That was the first time when the fashion world heard a very down-to-earth, close-to-masses word: “utility”. And surely, spring-summer 2017 collection is the one which can be called utilitarian from the first look to the last one.
It’s intriguing to see how Miuccia conveys messages in her clothes. This summer outing for boys (and for girls, of course) might just seem ugly to people, who say a loud NO to any form of socks and sandals (get over it, people!). But to others, it will appeal aesthetically, matching this current “rave” trend present on wild, off-beat parties and streets filled with Tumblr teenagers. However, I’m rather obsessed with the way these clothes are layered and matched in the most off-kilter way, and the attitude behind the whole story. Disparity and travelling from one to idea to another – that’s elusive and very, very exciting.