Prada SS16 | The Write-Up

“What Prada has once again proven, is that luxury fashion is as much desirable, as it is wearable”

Note: all photos below are my own iPhone screen caps from todays show. 

Harrods’ Pradasphere was the last big project which Prada had me encapsulated by. Now, there is the anticipation of the Raw Avenue eyewear project (June 26)- but it’s not the only thing luxury brand Prada has going for them. The previous collections have been beautiful, modernistic, perfectly constructed and wearable. There is always a constant stream of excitement surrounding Prada’s collections because there’s always a sort of opulence surrounding the brand.

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The show started fashionably late, but in the time, admiring the set was no raw deal. A decadent set, gold and lit beautifully in the darkness, is the backdrop to Miuccia Prada’s SS16 showcase in Milan. Curves and corrugated plastics, edged in some sort of copper or gold, or at least that’s how it appeared before the lights were turned up. There was an exclusivity to the set alone, as one would expect; a labyrinth of craftsmanship and beauty to set the scene of what were to come. The interior was reminiscent of a New York hotel interior- those where it is expected  hat one sips whiskey or champagne of a regular Tuesday evening.

“For the Spring / Summer 2016 Prada men’s show AMO investigates the perception of continuous space through an invasion of the ceiling. Plastic sheets hang down acting as a virtual mold that defines the catwalk and seating areas, while the concrete ground area acts as the negative of the above scene. The fiberglass and polycarbonate stalactites manipulate the proportions and perspectives of the brutal and industrial space. These alternating levels of views and transparencies introduce the guests to a blurred horizon. Arranged in elliptical benches that are determined by the ceiling installation, they never perceive the room as a whole. The wall, floor and seats, covered in concrete, emerge as a remnant, disturbing the boundaries between seating and catwalk.” – Prada 

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This was the menswear show where both menswear and womenswear came together in a harmonious stream of style, and if you weren’t lucky enough to be in Milan, this was live-streaming. Backstage, makeup was by Pat McGrath and hair by Guido Palau. 

Sequins, shorts, stripes, rabbits and oversized backpacks. Coats, dresses, patterns and sweaters; there was an endless supply of covetable styles that until they hit the racks, we’ll be yearning for. What Prada has once again proven, is that luxury fashion is as much desirable, as it is wearable.  Dear boys and girls, looking for the perfect wardrobe? I think it has been found. 

Men wore totally wearable short socks with their shoes and shorts whilst everything was in a half-tuck position. Car and rabbit prints are fully ‘adult’ alongside retro stripes and contrasting suit pieces. The silhouettes were large; leather jackets and backpacks specifically. Layering is your friend, as are socks with any shoe and clashing those prints and colours. It is a spring collection not shy from the jackets we may need in the less sun-soaked of places, and for those able to bare skin, it is also the collection. 

“Everything seemed to rally against the adage that modesty is the best policy.”- Miles Socha, WWD

For some collections, this can be considered that of a raw quality. The cartoon-like, embellished faces of Spring 2014’s Prada collection, seeming like much time ago- which in the fashion season calendar, is rather a stretch- were far more refined and yet considered somewhat more artistically raw of the Prada brand. The Spring 2014 show were in fact an artistic, activist and tribal collaboration of sorts. 

Today, however, there were no heavy embellishments, some scatterings of light embellishments, but the complexity were elsewhere. In the craftsmanship and design of course, but the show was fresh, younger perhaps. It can be assumed that this show were in fact so different because the brand is trying to sink its feet in with a newer demographic to boost sales- there has been little dramatic shift in sales. There had been exceptions, the footwear division recorded a net sales increase of  8.4% in comparison to the previous year (2013-2014). This year, Prada’s profits continued to decline, somewhat liable to the Asian market’s condition, though the companies revenue did rise by 6.5% since last year. 

It is far more than the aesthetics of clothing that drives the financial reports of brands, but it is the aesthetics alongside the brands core values, collaborations, store experiences and a whole host of factors which battle for the love, devotion and attention of the fashion public. It has been made obvious that Prada, aware of their declining sales, may be cutting back, but the flame will never die out. Prada is a power-player and a leader. Wes Anderson, Roman Polanski, Michael Rock and Francesco Vezzoli are a select few names of notable collaborators. The short documentation of Prada’s Pradasphere [here], illustrates perfectly, the prestigious life the Prada brand has lived. The brand is on a mission for a fashionable resurrection in process. 

Missed the show? Watch it here.

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