Prada: Menswear SS21

Why collaborate with one global creative when you can do it with five? With her first foray into digital fashion week, Mrs Prada didn’t disappoint. Rising to the occasion and the opportunity a digital format presents, she worked with five of her favourite creatives; Terence Nance, Joanna Piotrowska, Martine Syms, Juergen Teller and Willy Vanderperre. Each produced a video short of the SS21 collection, offering a different, highly personal point of view on the Pradaverse. From Vandepere’s hazy groupings of skinny-suited youths, to Piotrowska’s scenes of choreographed social awkwardness in a velvet room, the films reflected their creator’s obsessions. Teller’s no-frills shots of the collection were taken against the backdrop of silver pipes in an industrial factory basement with nothing but the whirr of machinery for a soundtrack. You couldn’t get more Juergen than that.

Prada used the backdrop of the Fodazione Prada – its screening room was the set for Martine Syms’ well-dressed narcissists, scrambling over the seats for attention. The building’s gilded exterior starred in Terence Nance’s clip. Mrs Prada’s role in the film was similar to her role at the Fondazione – she was the curator, pulling different voices together to tell the story of our times. Prada has strong views on how to dress for a post-pandemic world. Skinny black suiting, crisp white shirting, sporty jackets, prom dresses in Prada’s signature nylon and sleek understated shoulder bags. These no-nonsense pieces are all things that Prada made her name within the nineties and has since and has made her own. A statement accompanying the video referred to, “simple clothes, with a use and a value, a longevity and a place within people’s lives. As times become increasingly complex, clothes become straightforward, unostentatious, machines for living and tools for action and activity.”

The clothes, the mood, the presentation – it all felt right. Mrs Prada even took her customary shy bow at the end of the film. It may be the last one she does as a solo designer. Her collaboration with Raf Simons is due to be unveiled in September. And even though we weren’t physically at the Prada show in Milan – with all the accompanying excitement and anticipation – as the credits rolled, it felt like we’d seen a Prada show. A really good one.

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