Prada. Do we really need to say more to introduce our post dedicated to the Menswear collection for Autumn Winter 2016 presented yesterday in Milan? This word is enough and has a lot of meanings. Let's not be fooled, Prada is a classical brand but its power lies in the fact that it can reinvent itself season after season thanks to the genius of Miuccia Prada. Prada is all about Fashion. Prada is Fashion. It creates clothes & accessories that everybody will want & need sooner or later. It launches the careers of models that will soon be on everyone's lips (Lineisy Montero, Mica Arganaraz, Sasha Pivovarova, Anna Ewers, Amanda Murphy...). And don't forget it has been the first brand to mix menswear collections with Pre-Fall/Cruise ones. Nowadays, every brand is doing that! Actually, Prada seems classical but it is simply a subterfuge, one of the numerous games Miuccia loves to play. Never judge a book by its cover and this, she is telling us collection after collection. Prada is avant-garde and has definitely changed the face of Fashion.

We won't try to analyze in depth this collection and to find some kinds of meaning that could be completely mistaken. We'd love to be able to give you a deep insight into her work but, just like with Jonathan Anderson, we wouldn't risk to explain the unexplainable. With Prada, you should let the magic happen and enjoy. Even after her Impossible Conversations with Schiaparelli where she explained a lot of things, her mystery is still undamaged and perhaps, it's better this way.

Myths, legends, Sailors are blurred references to build this AW16 collection (Miuccia is fond of Rainer Werner Fassbinder so the Querelle hot sailors make sense as one of the inspirations). But it is more a complex voyage rather than a classic jump to the past she operated season after season. She is talking about "an excursion to the history" and the clothes are "a visual representation of the uncertainty of the contemporary". She is collaborating the artist Christophe Chemin who is in charge of the mysterious prints. The voyaging theme is definitely metaphorical and abstract. The set is alluding to  the idea of a town square's lit by gloomy torches: "a place gathering of all the classes as well as an arena for public ceremony and killings. It was like a excursion through history to find the moments that were heroic, passionate, difficult, to reflect what happened in history to see if you we have something to learn about what's happening now." Who are these sailors and where are they going? Are they a memory from the past, trying to guide us through our lifetime journey? Miuccia don't want to explain her creative process. She lets the clothes do the talking. So let's the clothes speaking for herself!

The collection revolves around the idea of a sharp tailoring with Navy-referenced garments & accessories (navy blue pieces, denim, sailor hats, anchor-embroidered gloves, cropped trousers, printed shirts, big buckled pumps useful to have your sea legs...). Underneath their coats (there's a large selection going from trench coats to capes, from peacoats to A-line ones), the models are wearing mostly boxy shirts with large sailor collars or sleeveless jumpers. Using a utilitarian lexicon, Miuccia Prada is imagining a deconstructed wardrobe with removable collars that are worn as scarves on the coats or on the chunky knits. The idea of structure & architecture is more and more present as the collection is unrolling in more dramatic coats, in a mix of checked prints giving some looks a very British gentleman side. This argyle print is also reinterpreted in another way in chunky & colorful jackets: a bomber & a shearling jacket are revisited. The knits are amazingly opulent and here, the rather classical argyle print is never boring. This chunky knit can also be found as adornments on jackets or on deep V-neck jumpers & cardigans. 
The strongest idea of this collection is undeniably the shirts. Printed, boxy, oversized, with unusual buttonholes, detachable cuffs & collars, they are masterpieces and need to be analyzed & dissected to get all their subtleties. It's even more striking in the Women's Pre-Fall where the shirts are worn as dresses (with knitted tights & absolutely no pants!), embellished, printed, beautiful & weird at the same time. 

There is always a certain sense of hybridization in the Prada collections. Here, it may be subtle but Miuccia loves to deconstruct & disturb her audience. She is letting the "chaos" of the world outside fashion takes the control of her creations (through patchworks of prints, excessive embellishments & quirky details). Easy is not a word in the Prada vocabulary. Nothing is easy and never was. From the clothes to the soundtrack, from the setting to the general theme. Of course, Navy has already been dealt with a thousand times but never in this way. Miuccia Prada is bringing something new. She is building a brand new dialogue, imagining new must-haves & timeless pieces. And once again, she proves us 'even though we did not really need a proof) that she is Queen of Milano!

 Pic by Virginia Arcaro via Dazed Digital

Words by Yann & Charles

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