No one comes to Milan Fashion Week for ‘convenience clothes’. But that’s the verdict of director Luca Guadagnino, who sat front row at Sunday’s menswear show:
“Convenient, yes, portable, yes, all of that. Anyone can wear this.”
Price tag aside, here are his points:
As with previous collections, Prada has turned things you might already have, like a ribbed white vest or a backpack, into must-have pieces. They did the same with duffle coats, jackets, black office brogues, and navy blue parkas. Fashion can be a mirror of what’s going on in the world, but it can also be a reminder of what we already have. “The most honest thing we can do is create something that works for people today,” said Miuccia Prada, designer of the Fall/Winter 2023 show, which she co-designed with Raf Simons, who participated in 2020. always talks about reality: we designers are well aware of what is going on, the problems and the difficulties.”
A4-sized totes made with aluminum bottoms, like those found on the bottom of the Lido, seem useless, but these could carry water bottles. A sleek handbag not only holds your laptop, smartphone, and moleskin notebook but also helps you carry your lunch.
With front-row stars and megawatt glamour, Fashion Her Week can be a harrowing experience. It is also not uncommon for designers to be seduced by the usual wardrobe, picking out the most interesting creations and trying to sell them back at a high price. After all, this is late capitalism. But even if you can’t afford something like this, you can still get the Prada look by raiding thrift stores, Milan’s Navigli market, or your teenage son’s wardrobe.
Among the jackets, there were also enough moments of zaniness to satisfy true Prada fans. Bright white spherical coats which resembled duvets minus the cover; unpredictable color combinations (blue and brown) and, in a bit of a U-turn on her usual anti-sexy stance, even some bare torsos. The five suede tunics layered over skinny trousers might take a while to translate to the high street, but they were among Guadagnino’s marginally less “useful” favorites. As any great designer knows, it can be difficult to balance the commercial needs of a brand with producing what you want. According to global fashion aggregator Lyst, Prada did not generate €3.3 billion (£2.9 billion) in sales in 2021, nor did it become the second most popular brand in the world.