Men's Fashion Week: Prada Spring/Summer 2021
Photo: Prada

Miuccia Prada‘s response to the question of what a fashion collection should be in these uncertain times is almost radical in its simplicity. In a collection free of flash or gimmick, she strips Prada back to its pure essence—the uniform dressing, the black nylon, the triangular emblem, the intellectual rigour countered with the memory of what came before.

Not all is as simple as it looks though. In her usual contrarian manner, Prada built paradox into these clothes. The ultra-slim suiting for men and couture volumes for women came in sporty fabrics. A crisp shirt and tie were tucked into sweatpants. Utilitarian workwear was reworked in not-so-utilitarian leather and taffeta. And the final Linea Rossa sportswear section came off both classic and futuristic at the same time.

Each facet of the collection was seen through the eyes of different creatives and presented in five distinctive mini-films. Willy Vanderperre captured the precision of the silhouettes. Juergen Teller focused on the technical fabrications. Joanna Piotrowska caught the subtle subversions of the Prada uniform while Martine Syms played up the movement and fluidity of the weightless tailoring and lingerie pieces. Last but not least, Terence Nance placed the youthful Linea Rossa line in a dreamy, trippy context.

Prada called the collection “simple clothes, with a use and a value”, “machines for living”, and “an antidote to useless complication” — all ideas that couldn’t be more resonant in this moment. It was also an effective exercise in laying out the Prada manifesto before her co-designed collection with Raf Simons arrives in September.

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