Alexander Fury astutely pointed out the significance of Miuccia Prada's inclination to return to the theme of her past two collections-men and women's fall 2016-in his review of the recent Spring 2017 menswear collection. The fleeting ephemera of the Prada show is fashion's greatest pleasure. Exhibit A) Spring 2011's baroque-inspired, brightly-coloured extravaganza and the quick switchover to Fall 2011's reimagining of glamour tropes. Fall 2016 menswear lingered and was translated into the women's collection in February. The sailor, the vagabond: references to the ongoing crisis in the Mediterranean, where migrants are fleeing their homelands for fear of persecution, from war.
"I'm optimistic on principle, but I see what's happening around, and my fear is mounting," Prada told the Business of Fashion's Tim Blanks. The vagabond that Prada developed for this season is someone on the move; carrying their belongings on their backs. Strapped to the brilliant backpacks in the this collection - which featured also the Resort 2017 collection - were high heels, the way pocket notebooks were attached to outfits last season; rain jackets were pieces onto men's looks. The backpacks could easily be brushed off for being instantly saleable accessories to remedy sinking profits but Prada's deliberateness is unmissable-it's about having everything you own with you, mobility which is not dissimilar to the current predicament on European waters. Secondly, the backpack is engrained in Prada's history, it being a major win for the brand in the 1980s.
80s athleisure and dressing punctuated the collection. There were banal, slimline grey trouser suits, bright windbreakers, technicolor parkas, meteorological forecast prints! Like Lou Dalton, the crispness of hiking was present in the collection. There was a clean air but an undoubted balminess, as depicted by the hairstyles.
The set was an interesting piece. The models hiked a metal incline, in search for their next destination. Perhaps this was what Prada was thinking herself; where is she thinking about going next-then transporting her audience to a mutated version of that place.
Miuccia Prada is fashion's politico. Regularly, she refers to disenfranchisement, migration, war, the role of women, amongst other political talking points. Elegant portrayals of these issues, her artistic expression prevent the viewer from rolling their eyes and sighing and the capitalisation of other people's suffering and turmoil. Art and fashion forever reflects upon societal issues and many few are able to paint a brighter picture. As Miuccia Prada says, "I'm optimistic on principle," and it's hard to ignore the joviality and beauty in a collection where the main reference is the darkness that cloaks the world.
Photo Credit: prada.com