Finally, after two and half (fashion) weeks, a truly brilliant collection. Of course, it had to be Prada. Spring-summer 2023 might be the most sensual offerings to date coming from the creative dialogue between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. At a first glance, one might find it very simple, even straightforward. But the more you dig into the details, into its raw, yet cinematic effect, and the oddness of silhouettes and lenghts and material clashes, you realise that another word describes it better: “crude”. For the show, the Prada Fondazione was covered in black craft paper. Cut into the set walls were windows behind which short videos by the director Nicolas Winding Refn fame played: clips of a coat on a wooden dining chair, an empty kitchen, women in repose on couches. Were these scenes of domestic bliss? Knowing our protagonists, and understanding the two years we’ve all been through, that doesn’t seem likely. Instead, what Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons seemed to be after was some sort of truth – peering behind the curtain for a glimpse of reality or its close verisimilitude. “There is a sense of the life of women,” Miuccia Prada said in a statement. “Life and humanity crafts the clothes – not superficial embellishment, but traces of living, leaving marks. This idea of clothes shaped by humanity excites us.” The first look, in its corporate anonymity, seemed to belie that statement. Where’s the humanity in a dour gray top coat and lighter gray button-down onesie? But before long, the layers came undone. The boxy tailoring of that coat, for example, was replaced with an old-fashioned nightie, the familiar logo triangle embroidered on its tulle neckline. Picking up on the craft paper of the set, they used paper – “the most simple, modest material” – for dresses whose color and print didn’t quite meet the edges. These were the most thought-provoking pieces in the collection. The white outlines at necklines and hems gave the sleeveless shifts an unfinished, work-in-progress quality, like an artist made clothes out of a freshly painted canvas, rather than putting it in a frame. Clearly, Miuccia had her autumn-winter 2004 collection as the reference, where a similar technique was used for dresses and coats. Knit sweaters and skirts, meanwhile, came pre-creased in places, and the skirts’ slits were left raw-edged, with the slips underneath following the same almost ragged lines. The white nighties and peignoirs over black briefs and the icy silk duchesse dresses tapped into beloved parts of the house archives. Trained for decades to see Mrs. Prada as fashion’s fortune teller, a mostly silent arbiter with an outsized influence, we come to Prada shows eager to know how we’ll want to dress next season. On that topic, the house founder and her partner had a new idea, and it goes back to that skinny legged, stripped of all excesses all-in-one. Many designers are thinking wider and fuller for spring – the overwhelming vibe is go big or go home. But here the silhouette was tapered to the ankle and punctuated with a boxy coat or jacket and chunky cowboy boot mary janes. A new Prada uniform? In his own comments, Simons said, “more than any other collection, this one is filled with different views… different bodies of work, within a single body of work – shifting between disparate form languages.”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Here’s the last post about my Sicilian trip! The Palermo guide. With its inky mix of grit and grandeur, Sicily’s heart-melting capital Palermo inspires obsessive devotion. Here’s where to find the best of it all.
Ballarò is one of the oldest street markets in Palermo, one of the most lively and surely picturesque of Sicily. Its name, Ballarò, recalls its ancient arab origins, as it is Sicily’s outdoor market tradition, which explains their similarity to Arab suqs. This incredible street market is located in the city center, extending from Piazza Ballarò – in the Albergheria district – along Via Ballarò and to Corso Tukory, a few steps away from the central station, so it’s very easy to reach. Sicilian street markets are known worldwide for being an authentic explosion of colours and enchanting scents of fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. They are always very crowded and noisy but this is their peculiarity: vendors shout very loud – and in dialect, of course! – to attract locals and tourists and to promote their tasty specialties. Visiting Ballarò means having great cultural experience. Walking through the outdoor shops and stands, you will observe the daily life of Palermo locals, a melting pot of different cultures and ancient traditions. The city’s street markets (there are three in total) are also the best place to taste some of the delicious Sicilian street food such as sfincione and panelle, or a plate of deep-fried seafood. Whatever you choose, you will receive an unforgettable triumph of flavors.
Started by Elena and Puccia, Magazzini Anita is a store packed to the brim with unique finds from the 1920s to the 1980s. Not only does the store stock up clothes and accessories but one can also find an extensive range of bags and jewelry in her collection of vintage wear that caters to the clothing needs of women at affordable prices. Just one glance at the store from outside and you’ll find yourself being pulled in easily to the assortment of vibrant prints, fabrics and hues. With clothes that can easily be adapted for everyday use, Magazzini Anita is the perfect place to splurge at if you are an admirer of all things vintage.
Via Maqueda 263
Antica Focacceria Di San Francesco was our favourite restaurant in Palermo. Focaccia is the very best of Palermo’s traditional fast foods, a form of hot bread roll filled with meat, cheese or onions. But the place also offers timeless Sicilian cuisine. In summer, eat alfresco in the Focacceria’s outdoor space, which actually is a square opposite San Francesco, one of Palermo’s finest Gothic churches. Great people-watching guaranteed!
Via Allesandro Paternostro 58
The catacombs at the Convento dei Cappuccini, under the monastery of the Cappucins, have fascinated visitors for the past couple of centuries and continue to do so. They are filled with more than 8,000 mummies of former Palermo citizens, hung ghoulishly along the walls in special sections depending on social status (doctors and lawyers have their own zone). This disturbing place says a lot about the social structure of society between the early-17th and late-19th centuries, which probably had more barons and princes per head of population than any other city in Europe. If you’re fine with places like this… it’s a must-visit!
Piazza Cappuccini 1
Giardino Garibaldi is a well maintained, 19th century public garden, which is only a short walk from the harbor. One of the stand-out features of this garden are the Ficus trees, some of which are more than 150 years old. We enjoyed looking at the monumental trunks and finding shapes of animals in them. A true nature osasis in the heart of a busy city!
Osteria Dei Vespri is for those who want to try some Sicilian gourmet cusine. This place has a charming atmosphere and lovely view at Piazza Croce dei Vespri. It is in Michelin selection, and their pappardelle with belly pork and ricotta is a good reason for that.
Piazza Croce dei Vespri 6
Vintage 21 offers a fine selection of pre-owned classics – all kept in a very chic and Italian style.
Via Vittorio Emanuele 418
If you feel hungry after visiting Chiesa di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, have a sweet meal at Ideal Coffee Stagnitta. Their brioche with pistacchio gelato is so good, just like the pistachio coffee (yes, you’ve read it right!).
Discesa dei Giudici 42-44
Luxury fashion might not really be a thing in Palermo, but there’s always Prada with it’s store located in former palazzo. The original ceiling fresco is still there!
Via della Libertà 1
Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
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