Prada RTW Fall/Winter 2021/22 Milan Fashion Week
A Two-Pronged approach: Miuccia Prada and Raf Simon’s Punchy Collection Delivered a Double Dose of Elegant Protection and Titillating Glamour.
Image and Video Credit: Prada
The fashion world salivated in anticipation of the first fruits of the joining of forces of two prodigiously talented fashion minds. Just over a year ago, in fated early 2020 Raf Simons joined Miuccia Prada as co-creative director at powerhouse Prada after stints at heavyweights Jil Sander, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. On an ever-present quest for innovation, Raf Simons was bound to make his mark on this Prada Fall/Winter 2021 collection, drawing on a lifetime of experience. And, as is characteristic of one of fashion’s most philosophical thinkers, Miuccia Prada, there was an illuminatingly clear thought process and intellectual quality woven into every jacquard, Re-Nylon and sequin piece. The result was, well, impressive, to say the least.
The theme of protection, as was seen in so many of the other designers’ offerings too, was most certainly at the forefront of this duo’s mind when having conceived this Fall/Winter collection. (Unsurprisingly, really, given the past year’s unprecedented happenings.) This collection was, without a shadow of a doubt, about the coat. The ultimate fashion item that offers protection, warmth and a practicality, coats came in all shapes and sizes, fabrics and finishes. My personal favourites were the inspired clutch-coats that models protectively clenched with one hand on their chests while strutting across the faux fur surfaces.
Another outstanding coat was the almost-fluorescent yellow creation with its dropped shoulders and voluminous puff sleeves. This piece incorporated all we’ve come to love and expect from Prada: the drama, the forward-looking innovation, the boldness and effortless elegance. Boxy, enveloping faux fur teddy coats, Prada’s trademark Re-Nylon coats, a spectacularly decadent & super glamorous royal blue sequin coat, a double-breasted duffel coat with jacquard collar, an endearing pea green coat and an oversized fur-lined bomber jacket (a typical Raf Simons touch) added to the selection, and my oh my, would it be hard to choose just one!
The other items to obsess over and put on the wish list were undoubtedly the rectangular double-sided wraps that models clutched, with paillettes on one side – glittering, glamorous oversized sequins shimmering! – and faux fur on the other. These useful wraps also came in jacquard weave and faux fur duos, for those who are perhaps a little more practically-minded in their dress.
Dresses and tops were ever so slightly vintage-inspired, some edged with jacquard around collars. Pinstriped suits had cropped sleeves or pushed up sleeves to reveal stunningly coloured jacquard-knitted tops or sleeves. Equally, boots were either patterned (in the typical ‘Prada prints’ we’ve come to expect and drool over, over the years) or plain, often platform. Jacquard knits weren’t only a supporting act – they featured as key pieces in their own right as tops, leggings and jackets. Delightfully coloured and patterned long johns peeked out from beneath garments and provided a pop of colour to a more demurely-shaded outer garment. Bags came in many shades and textures, but the standout bag for me was the large turquoise holdall worn with a creamy yellow buttoned boucle peacoat.
When the bard of Milan, the ever forward-looking Miuccia Prada, speaks, the fashion world takes heed. And it seems to me that with this collection – with its ‘catwalk’ of padded faux fur walls and floors, models deliberately filmed from behind walking into the distance – she sent a message of quiet optimism that, with care and caution (and protection) we can both look ahead and look forward to our world expanding again. And luckily, with her sequin double sided wraps there’s no need to simply be practical – we can be super glamorous in the process, too.