Men’s – Choice. Prada SS23

Whenever Prada delivers a collection focused solely on all-time classics, it’s clear that some sort of recession is coming. If shopping for new clothes, no fashion-statement impulses – only rational choices. Investment pieces that will become a wardrobe staple: that’s exactly what Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons‘ spring-summer 2023 menswear collection is about. First, we’ve got reasonable suiting. It came black, skinny in the pant and cropped at the top of cowboy boots. Jackets were single or 1.5-breasted, cut slim and low. Then up popped eternal leather: frisson-making black double-zip short-shorts worn against sleeveless tops and coats. Shortly afterwards the shorts came accented with a series of striped rib knits. Next up were some leather-edged back-buttoned shirts in shopping bag checks, with craftily naïf ric-rac trims that echoed Prada’s pyramid cipher. There was a brief section of attractive washed denim. The shorts underpinned the looks. And of course, the coats – some in beige, some in naive gingham (a Miuccia classic, think autumn-winter 2013). The models were sometimes double-coated, sometimes single. According to the brand’s release, “choice” is the keyword behind the line-up. Said Mrs. Prada in her pre-quote: “So much that is the base is really a conceptual choice – a coat, jeans, a suit. They appear simple but are the result of a process, of choice – there are hundreds of coats, why is this the right one? It is a combination of a long process of design and decision, and then of instinct. It is a matter of style.” Adjacent on the page Simons was reported as saying: “The garments are classic, but their mix contradicts, making them exciting and new. There is leather against the body, then cotton on top – there’s a kind of anti-logic to the combination of the clothes, an oddness.” Kinky, corporate, normcore and craft – the ingredients in this menswear minestrone of a Prada collection looked pretty weird on the menu, but tasted fresh when seen on the flesh.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.


Prada SS22 Close-Up in Berlin

Last week, during my trip to Berlin, I finally had the chance to see Prada‘s spring-summer 2022 collection IRL at the brand’s flagship on Ku’damm. And, oh boy, these garments are so much better when you actually see them up close! The romance of up-scaled lace, the vibrance of neon silks, the beauty of vintage-y leathers. And of course, the masterful construction of each piece – which you truly comprehend once you touch them. “Seduction, Stripped Down” is the name Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons gave to their third, co-designed collection. In her notes, Prada said, “We thought of words like elegant – but this feels so old-fashioned. Really, it’s about a language of seduction that always leads back to the body. Using these ideas, these references to historical pieces, the collection is an investigation of what they mean today.” The historical ideas in question are the familiar tropes of womanhood, like bra cups and corsetry boning, made unconventional by how they were presented: on simple, even plain, sweaters or as details on denim coats. Duchesse satin sheaths read as almost demure until the dresses turn to reveal they are unbuttoned to the lower back, exposing peekaboo flashes of lingerie. The long evening column also got a rethink; it’s sliced above the knee, but a bow in back is extended to the floor. “That feels modern,” Simons stated in the collection’s press-notes. It really is!

Kurfürstendamm 186-187 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.