Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ first show last September was a rewriting and redefining of the Prada uniform for women. They sought to do the same for men with their latest collection. Together, the two stripped things down to the very basis of what makes Prada, Prada, and what makes Raf, Raf. And there were plenty of both in the first Prada men’s collection they designed together.
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The most prominent fingerprint of the former lay in the triangle emblazoned across the back of every look, occasionally and cleverly transformed into a nylon zip pouch. The Raf touch was most evident in the styling and the silhouette—the ultra-skinny tailoring and knits, how lean tops were worn with loose, low-slung trousers, or boxy coats with body-hugging trousers, the way sleeves were hitched high and layered over bodysuits. On the other hand, the ugly-chic prints spoke of Prada’s iconography—as did the oversized buttons and contrast lapels. Meanwhile, the off-kilter colour play has been a signature of both designers in their decades-long careers.
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What both designers felt strongly about this season was a desire to explore tactility and physicality—this came through the clearest in the bodysuits and Long John’s that riffed on the concept of reveal-and-conceal; the skintight forms in service of the latter, their full-coverage playing up the latter. Like the show in September, this collection was also a rigorous exercise in laying out the new and new-again Prada codes, but whereas the women’s collection skewed grown-up, here the attitude read a lot more boyish—in line with both Raf’s obsession with youth and Miuccia’s penchant for drawing parallels between her naive men and worldly women.
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