Date 29.09.2020

Masculinizing the golden submarine: PRADA SS2021 – Text by OG

When it comes to key transactions in creative business between the Italian Republic and the kingdom of Belgium, we’ve seen major growth in the past week. In the first place, Milan based New Guards Group acquired Antwerp’s Ann Demeulemeester in an attempt to revamp and offer protection to one of the most prestigious representatives of Belgium fashion. Only two days later on Prada’s digital presentation, co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons of Prada’s discussed their kick-off moment of artistic fusion, which felt just as important as the one that fashion, craft Italian manufacturers desire to be represented by.

While the media tries to sell Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ vision as two mega powers in fashion, this collection is like a certificate of shareholders. There is no need to tease out Prada spring-summer 2021 into two separate brainpowers when their ideas are locked-down together. The physical distance makes no difference here: there is still very much one symbiotic mind working here, and hermetic encapsulates itself, constantly delivering engaging results. Life in Prada’s bleached-gold submarine, complete with voiles and matching carpet, brought (over 1M) viewers to take part in an undercover operation that imagines our next summer season. For a mega brand that needs to guarantee safety and beauty at the same time, this is definitely one of the most challenging seasons.

Will Prada’s femme consumers be free again to marvelously wrap HERSELF up in the streets?

Aside from the re-nylon classics from the casa, the use of a square, kimono pattern in different fabrics and lengths was outstanding. These functioned as wraps and clutched coats, often embellished by a frontal-back pocket as detail. When questioning their commercial viability, however, these could come across as potential social media content rather than functional fashion. Considering the way women are expected to flatter unconditionally for such a high-priced investment, let’s not forget that wearing something around the shoulders applies better in piccolina sizes rather than central or bigger ones. It seems as though the Asian markets are the target audience here. Seemingly at random, some iconic prints were once again present, however, we really missed some summer textures! We would have preferred that to the overused logo, which was often distracting.

But the major moment that railed against convention was the models’ selfish way of making eye contact with the multiple floating cameras. It was as though they whispered, “To be, to be free again,” to submarine periscope. Regardless, they managed to convince us and bring the show to its most physical iteration, connecting with each of us.

It is the night

My body’s weak

I’m on the run

No time to sleep

I’ve got to ride

Ride like the wind

To be free again

                        –christopher cross

But snapping back to reality after thirty-five minutes of elitaire Prada, the question remains the same. If these women were stepping out of a car (valet parking, of course), passing through an assembly hall to finally enter another space, where would they be going? This brings to mind a follow up question: is Milan and Antwerp redrawing the European fashion landscape once again? Miuccia and Raf’s brotherhood make it appear so, and possibilmente for good.