When you think of Prada, you think of three things: the conceptual-crazy side of the designer’s collections that the fashion industry all sit and try to decipher; her signature side (we all know what a Prada man and woman looks like by now); and what by today’s standards might well be termed athleisure – but essentially the sportier side of the label. Agility, utility and sport, that’s what took a starring role in today’s collection, one full of neon cagoules and get-set-go silhouettes, Stetson-style hats and layers of practicality. One can’t help but feel, therefore, that this was one of her most relevant collections yet – covetable, yes; wearable, yes; cool, yes. Felt like now; felt like then.
The Prada menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show finale, Milan, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION
The models – girls and boys – took to the catwalk all laden up with their looks: so that something head-to-toe active came armed with boots and a jacket all bundled on to the back of a rucksack in a fashion variation of a snail’s home. Intrepid travellers, explorers (or were they just like the rest of us?) going about their lives and having to carry all of its many complicated facets with them. Most likely. But it put a renewed style vigour into the commute, that’s for sure and now the holy grail of how to look chic while so very laden has been answered (hoorah!).
A photo posted by NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) on Jun 20, 2016 at 2:19am PDT
Because then somehow it morphed into going from gap-year-glam to being a little bit cowgirl-cowboy and then luxed up towards the end so that the idea first expressed by the activewear was in reality translated by more sophisticated alternatives: little cocktail frocks and proper bags went on to replace previous leggings and backpacks respectively (for womenswear which so standardly feature in the menswear collection); Prada stilettos hanging in a gangly fashion from them instead of the boots and trainers that came before. Now that was a cool and clever idea. This collection seemed to straddle every facet of the Prada personality and to great effect. It also compounded what, in the space of a day, has become a prevalent trend in Milan: travel. And dressing just right for it.
The Salvatore Ferragamo menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION
Earlier Salvatore Ferragamo had shown off a similar idea: this time belt bags, like bumbags but switched the other way around, and with a jacket or shirt stuffed down the side next to them. Clever, cool, and useful – and a run away from yesterday’s scrunched bags that came in almost every collection. Overall this, in fashion speak, would be one of those collections for which the term “urban safari” would apply (and has probably been used). It seems that everyone has a taste for adventure right now. They’re packing up and heading off into the sunset. The Missoni sunset, perhaps…
The Missoni menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION
While the rain might have been pouring behind it, Missoni’s offering spoke of anything but: Guatemala, the fruits of its inspiration for vivid kaleidoscopic knits with birds of paradise woven in. It’s a brand that can be a little tricky, such is the signature of its heritage, but this was a strong summer collection. Similarly, Daks called upon bohemian traveller notes to help loosen up its otherwise traditionally conservative man. How? He threw on a couple of necklaces and added a tunic length to go with his standard suit. Done.
The Moncler menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Milan, by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION
But there it did not end. Though instead we stayed a little more local for our adventure at Moncler, where it appeared the boys were camping in Milan Fashion Week’s answer to a back garden, taking to the as-described set complete with little tents in sleeping-bag one-sies, out from which they later appeared in utility Boy Scout garb. Moncler is always about a certain sense of Insta-gratification; a show concept always up its sleeve. Or maybe that should be in its pocket. Because there were loads here. Pockets, pockets, pockets – this collection was all about earning those badges and to absolutely “be prepared” at any given time. The Great Outdoors is clearly resonating with wardrobes right now.