The corset gang of women who are walking around the streets of Milano is another proof that more than ever Miuccia Prada a) is always in the game b) knows exactly how to produce the excitement and c) remains on everyone's lips. Her Autumn-winter 2016 was a masterpiece! The state of fashion and of her own business may be faltering, Miuccia Prada wants to create something we have never seen and objects or clothes that the world will never forget. We have a lot of these statements in mind but it will take way too long to enumerate.
The spring summer 2017 PRADA collection embodies this idea of delivering pieces that we could entitle as exceptions, objects made to produce excitement, the kind of things that would let you speechless. In a way, it doesn't matter if it triggers a good or a bad reaction as long as there's a dialogue, a constant conversation with fashion. On the brand's Instagram account, we can read a short introduction to this collection: "What separates the past from the present? What comes after the future? Prada SS17 becomes part of the Pradasphere (the digital archive of the brand) while Diana Ross's voice echoes "reflections of the way things used to be" and a multi-screen film installation by David O'Russell plays during the runway at Milan Fashion Week". Miuccia is introducing a new notion in this industry which is the notion of Past-Forward. One must look back to the past to understand the present and consider the future. Are the masterpieces of the past collections still relevant? Does the notion of elegance, glamour, minimalism mean something today? The balance of the past and present is creating a modern & complex silhouette expressing a new elegance, a contemporary femininity, a twisted beauty.
The casting of models is a perfect reflection of this SS17 manifesto. Exclusive newcomers models (the Future) are meeting superstars (the Past in a way) who have an exclusive relationship like Liya Kebede, Raquel Zimmerman, Saskia De Brauw or Arizona Muse and some of Miuccia's favorites (the Present) such as Rianne van Rompaey, JuliaNobis, Natalie Westling, Lexi Boling, Amanda Murphy, Fei Fei Sun, Lineisy Monteiro or Mica Arganaraz.
The garments are made of contemporary technique synthetics with fabrics evoking past eras like furs & feathers. A summer weight jersey coat is embellished with crystals and trimmed with feathers. A bra top is worn over a black turtleneck and a mini skirt attached with shorts. Absolute femininity is expressed with a silk satin evening dress with cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress) bodice and twisted-effect pleats or a floral printed dress with a velcro patch fastening that creates a twisted silhouette. Then, complex modernity makes its appearance: sheer strapless embroidered chiffon slip-dress trimmed in ostrich feathers, worn over shirts and culottes. These same vibes can be found in the chiffon skirt trimmed with ostrich feathers, worn with a pocketed jersey mock turtleneck and velcro sandals. Elements that evoke, at first sight, what Prada means to us.
There are no universal rules to express sophistication, glamour or elegance. Beauty is everywhere even in the odd kitschy jersey (after all, Prada rules the Ugly Pretty kingdom), in the old fashioned embellishments and in the retro futuristic fabric like velcro. Miuccia Prada has never followed trends, simply beacuse she is inventing them. That is why this collection matters; everything looks personal and unique! Bravo Miuccia! The Future (and Past, and Present) is all yours!
Pictures by Virginia Arcaro for Dazed Digital
Words by Yann Sackville-West