At Prada simplicity is back

“The feeling in today’s world is that everything is too much. Overproduction, overconsumption, overspeed. This makes a harsh contrast with the need we have to consume and pollute less,” explained Miuccia Prada before the show wearing a beautiful and very bourgeoise outfit: a blue cashmere pullover, long pearl necklaces, white slip dress, and black polished décolletées. “It’s the contradiction of the days we are living in. Of course, fashion cannot change the world but if everyone will do their small part, something will start to change for sure.” This introduction led to the beautiful collection where Prada was Prada in its signature conceptual approach with classic touches mixed with crazy yet controlled bites. “This time I didn’t do minimalism, but I went as simple as possible,” she said. So, finally she went back to the roots that made her the master of fashion, grounded in culture, ideas, politics, substance, and not just surface value or showing off.

Kid mohair wool and row silk gauze with a rough look were the fil rouge in terms of fabrics of the collection: tailleur with slightly seventies touches, jackets and light coats were counterposed with light silk dresses. There was also her signature micro design on suits and beautiful knitwear outfits. The only decorations were the fern leaves embroidered here and there and some gold touches. This collection was a strong statement for the house, a kind of reset to erase what Prada has become in recent years. It was made with guts, and in a time where everybody is adding, she decided to subtract by going back to the beauty of simplicity. “I put my attention on style instead of fashion itself, even if I’m a woman fully in love with it,” the designer explained. “Everyone has his own personality and he can interpret the clothes as he likes, so I try to express every different woman with every single look.” And this is very Prada.
 
“The Sixties psychedelia and the Vienna Secession were the starting point of the collection,” explained Lucie and Luke Meier backstage. The center of the venue, the Milanese art school Accademia di Brera, displayed an installation made with cones of white gravel that amplified the surreal atmosphere in between a zen garden and a lunar landscape. “It could seem that psychedelia doesn’t fit with the brand, but for us it’s a state of mind more than printed patterns. Also the location we chose for the show is the place where the next generation’s culture might come from.” In the show the aesthetic contrast was beautiful: a rebellious state of mind in rigorous clothing. The soundtrack deeply emphasized the psychedelic mood featuring the famous Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and “Today” and Ultimate Spinach’s “Hip Death Goddess” among other songs. A lot of white, navy blue, and natural linen and silks made all looks pure, clean, and balanced. Tailoring and draping defined the silhouette that was sometimes structured, sometimes very fluid and fluctuating.

The glamourous safari meets Seventies hippy girls at Alberta Ferretti. “In the last season, I decided to move more to the daywear where I like to experiment and try new ways, but I want to be clear that, to me, it’s different from the streetwear. Some pieces of the collection are a bit more sporty, but never too much,” explained the designer before the show. “Identity and character are the DNA of my woman.” Touches of animalier prints that turned optical, but without forgetting the feminine touch. Tie-dye denim overalls and patchworks tops, skirts, and bell bottomed pants have a strong seventies touch keeping the romantic allure of Alberta Ferretti. “My story started with the long and feminine chiffon dresses that I wanted to keep,” so the whole evening was inspired by the deep blue and black of the night sea; the gowns are light and sparkling with precious embroideries.

Alessandro Dell’Acqua at N.21 explored the erotic side of femininity. “I feel that today we are afraid to talk about this topic,” explained the designer backstage. “So I wanted to show bare skin in order to unveil a pinch of sensuality. Nowadays the world is too restrained to express their sensuality, but, in reverse, it’s important to free this feeling. There is too much prudery.” In the coed collection, both women and men were sensual, sometimes playful and sometimes sexy. The sleeves were slashed in order to show the bare arms, the backs of beautiful long dresses were naked and the see-through chiffon was a symbol of this mood together with the fluidity of the silhouette. Dell’Acqua worked with women’s sensuality, something that he knows very well and has become a signature touch since he started, one that he is perfecting season by season.

Calcaterra dug into the emotions, proposing an ethereal woman with a delicate masculinity that emphasizes her grace. The volumes have been exaggerated in oversized jackets that framed the slender silhouette underneath. “This collection shows my need to take a deep breath, and stimulates all the senses like touch, hearing, and sight. To show it I worked on my shapes and I made them even more wide,” explained Daniele Calcaterra backstage. “I loved the idea of growing and expanding the figure using a lot of fabrics in layers or jackets that become dresses. But in juxtaposition I used only four colours: white, black, kaki, and red.” This approach, mixed with Japanese and fleming-inspired elements, turned the collection into a very sophisticated ensemble which, this season, injected more energy to the minimal signature style of the Milanese designer.

Arthur Arbesser explored another personal point of view: “The world of fashion is so full of product so my only way to be different is to tell my personal stories,” explained the designer. “So this season I want to talk about my grandmother who was born in Transylvania. Her life was very complicated but everything was framed by romantic memories.” A few months ago, Arbesser discovered his grandmother’s archive of fabrics spanning from the 20s to the 80s, so from here everything started. The patch-working of these old fabrics was one of the topics of the collection, together with cute flower blueprints that recalled the Transylvanian ceramics.


For its Milanese debut, Peter Pilotto was fascinated by the Italian light. “Coming into town meant discovering a bit of our roots,” explained the creative duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos backstage. “We have a strong link with Italy for our production and fabrics, so we wanted to feel more at home. The intensity of the sun is so strong and the impact with colour is very powerful, so we wanted to put this solar optimism on dresses with floral prints over everything.” Draped dresses, asymmetric skirts, pajamas, shirts, and the engineered knit mixed with lurex were all colourful and maybe even too flashy. Actually. an overall look at the full collection clearly gave the happy and summery message, but it was too loud and lacking style direction.


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