"Simple". This is the keyword of this Autumn Winter 2017/18 collection by Prada. A simple man with no fuss. But, expect a little bit more with Miuccia Prada, she is the Queen of concepts & elaborated stories after all, she just cannot give us one single word backstage to enlighten us. So with this notion of simplicity, she also added some more mysterious sentences like "Privacy is a Luxury", "Primitive meets Domestic" or "Time is a Value of many Meanings". As usual, this is a collection filled with ideas & notions more or less nebulous all leading to the main purpose of Ms Prada; something more real, more in context. Forget the big, arty, complicated runways; this time, there are no steps, no slopes. The catwalk is flat, the walls covered with tiles and beds with leather sheets are here to welcome the lucky audience so they can be close to the clothes, to what really matters. In a way we are at home, at ease but always remember you are at Prada, so expect the unexpected and don't take things in a too down-to-earth way.
"Femasculinity" is a concept Miuccia Prada likes and you can often spot in her collections some elements referring to it. Here, in this AW17 effort, the most "femasculine" outfit is perhaps the one worn by our favourite Natalie Westling; a corduroy suit looking exactly like the ones male models are sporting. Corduroy & leather are THE fabrics of this season for the Milanese brand and are perfectly matching the themes of this collection; simplicity & the 70s. It is an ode to something classical (just look at the casting of classical male beauties with the comebacks of some Prada faves: Benjamin Eidem, Clément Chabernaud and others looking like Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic), to something effortless in the shapes (large cuffs, slouchy pants...), to something timeless in a way with the colour palette: brown, camel, tobacco, grey, forest green... All these classical elements, these very tailored suits in corduroy & leather are obviously (don't forget guys it's Prada!) twisted with suede, shearling or fur (furry belts for instance). Models are here standing for a 70s masculine ideal some are even looking like protest French students with their berets. But once again, appearances are deceptive and this 70s thing cannot make us forget that there are also naive elements (another very Prada touch), elements that could be qualify as grigris, elements coming from the most exuberant & creative parts of Miuccia; primitive shell necklaces or twig ones a creative child could have done. And what to say about these jumpers representing amateur landscape paintings far from the rich & magnificent illustrations by Christophe Chemin for AW16/17? As if the designer wanted to show a more humble side to her label.
There are many things to say about Miuccia Prada and her namesake label but one thing for sure is her ability to surprise us each and every time. While sticking to the codes of her house, she always succeeds in showing us something different, something unexpected, something weirdly desirable. We have to admit that we are quite fascinated by this label, quite under Miuccia's spell. We never go to church on Sundays but you can be sure that we'd never miss our very own Sunday mass.
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte
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