It takes a certain level of sophistication to be able to use a fashion collection as a mode of storytelling. With its more than a century of history, Prada lays good claim to that level. It wasn’t history that inspired this year’s SS collection, however, but the future.
Blending virtual and human realities, Miuccia Prada cut and spliced comic book motifs, dystopian mechanical creatures and the sense of constant surveillance to craft a thoroughly Orwellian mise en scene.
The collection pitted comfort against discomfort, with space-age nylon and velcro competing with more traditional – though perhaps unseasonal – warm knits and coats. As ever, Prada’s show pushed the furthest of the season from safe, typically wearable outfits, preferring the avant-garde and artistic instead.
From bold combination of loafers, high socks and short shorts to puffy parkas and bumbags, Prada seemed keen to populate the runway with intriguing characters, feeding a growing fiction around the collection.
Transporting the feel of the collection to Australia was no mean feat. In Jervis Bay I found the sort of duality Prada had sought out, with the mechanical set in against the natural, a perfect environment for the concept. Roads, boat ramps, gates and boardwalks overlaid still water and white sand.
I sought to make the collection more realistically wearable, while staying true to its signature outlandishness. Up close, the branded tags and printed graphic shirts made eye-catching highlights to set against darker monotone pants or shorts. Again, this was all about restoring the balance that Prada used the collection to create; looking forward, with consciousness of the past.