Prada lets itself be torn away with ‘gestures of error’ at the Milan fashion week

Prada lets itself be torn away with ‘gestures of error’ at the Milan fashion week

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At first, the folds of the Prada blazer looked like an oversight. Maybe the model was bored waiting for her turn on the catwalk, she sat on the floor and inadvertently wrinkled her outfit. A big gaffe at Milan fashion week, where flawless perfection is the aesthetic basis, but these things happen.

But then there was a pencil skirt with a front slit ripped into the fabric. And other creases – which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be sewn and ironed into place. “Gestures of error”, as Raf Simons, co-designer of Miuccia Prada said.

Twists, cracks and folds that suggested “pieces that have had a life” were taken up in the scenography of the show, an engaging temporary art installation by director Nicolas Winding Refn in which the holes made in the black cardboard walls framed a grainy film and abstract fragments of domesticity: a flickering light bulb, a sleepy climb up the stairs.

Intentional errors, a triangular creative collaboration between two stylists and a director and film fragments glimpsed against the backdrop of a catwalk create a shocking set-up for a 15-minute show. And that, of course, is precisely the point. Prada is haute couture for the type of people who appreciate auteur cinema and modern art installations. Intellectual complexity is as key to Prada as the famous triangle logo.

The models present the Prada Spring / Summer 2023 collection at Milan Fashion Week.

The models present the Prada Spring / Summer 2023 collection at Milan Fashion Week. Photography: Alessandro Garofalo / Reuters

The clothes themselves were simple. The Prada runway is always dotted with ideas that are borrowed for free from a much wider audience than the few who can afford to shop in boutiques. Here, that meant wet slate gray broad-shouldered blazers worn with tight pants, for the day.

For the evening, jewel-colored silk shell tops were tucked neatly into elongated pencil skirts. Last season’s white rowing vests – a hit high-street trend that started on the Prada runway – have been replaced with the fierce simplicity of white shirts buttoned to the throat.

Max Mara is a simpler proposition, for women who want well-made flattering dresses updated with a slight lateral order of feminism. The 1930s Côte d’Azur wardrobe – elegant wide-leg trousers with rowing vests, straw baskets and wide sun hats – is a classic summer vibe to which Ian Griffiths, the English designer of this Italian brand, added cues of reflection giving top billing to Renee Perle, whose kohl-rimmed eyes and finger-waving hair are familiar from the portraits made by her lover, photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue. “Perle is only remembered as a muse and Lartigue as an artist,” Griffiths said after the show. “But it’s her style, her presence, that really makes those photos. The idea of ​​a “muse” is a way to reject the contribution of creative women “.

Griffiths learned 1930s silhouettes from the best: his fashion tutor at Manchester Polytechnic was legendary designer Ossie Clark, who in the late 1960s made stylish bias-cut dresses by that decade. “The 1930s style is very feminine, but also very modern,” Griffiths said.

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