Through a series of five videos, or “chapters,” subtitled “The Show That Never Happened,” Prada‘s SS21 presentation was a celebration of perspective. Created by a number of global creatives, including Terence Nance, Joanna Piotrowska, Martine Syms, Juergen Teller, and Willy Vanderperre, the showcase encouraged speculation and interpretation amongst audiences through the use of differing views and varied mediums.
Proposed in five chapters, with each creative acquiring a chapter of their own, the collection was brought to life through a conversation echoing the ideology of a traditional fashion show, while simultaneously foregoing the physicality of it. Through a plethora of congruent, yet individually delineated lenses, viewers were encouraged to focus on the clothes; clothes with “use and value, longevity and a place within people’s lives.” Replicating the quintessence of the iconic Italian house, the showcase, much like the collection, was an ode to the complex, paradoxical, and yet inherently simple makings of fashion, creativity, and the world.
With men’s and womenswear on show, here are five things you need to know about this year’s virtual Prada showcase.
1. Interpretation is key
With the objective of replicating the vantage point of audience members at a physical show, each “chapter” bears reference to the differing opinions and observations that can arise from a collection. Portrayed through the work of Nance, Piotrowska, Syms, Teller, and Vanderperre, these unique observations are further enhanced through the differing circumstances within which they are received. No longer housed in one specific venue, at one specific time, each “chapter,” provides a different framework from which audiences are to understand the collection. In doing so, a focus on “meaning” is reimagined, as viewers are encouraged to look within themselves for answers, both of the creative and philosophical kind.
2. The paradox of simplicity
Although noted as “simple,” items from Prada’s SS21 collection are a testament to the paradox of life. Oscillating between sportswear and formality; classicism and futurism, each piece pays homage to the complex and compound meaning of creativity. Staying consistent in its use of fabric across both collections, each piece espouses complexity through the uniqueness of its silhouettes and purpose. Pieces from the menswear collection, for example, comprise a silhouette that is sharp and narrow, while items from the women’s collection express “couture volumes and treatments.”
3. Clothes with purpose
Delicate craftsmanship and intricately designed silhouettes reign supreme in Prada’s SS21 collection. In a bid to refocus attention on the clothes, the collection proposes a suite of pieces that house use and value, which while aesthetically beautiful, are void of frivolity. With the objective of mirroring the complexity of the present day, in which resources are scarce and uncertainty is rife, each piece provides a sense of purpose, as “straightforward, unostentatious, machines for living and tools for action and activity.”
4. Color is scarce
While the brand’s classic combination of leathers, cottons, taffeta, and sportswear are visible throughout the collection, something that distinguishes SS21 pieces from those that came before it is a lack of bright color. Perhaps done in reference to current world affairs, or a natural evolution of the brand’s creative direction, pieces feature a primarily analogous color scheme, with the occasional burst of color and print coming in the form of soft knits and light fabrics.
5. Miuccia Prada takes her final bow
Having presented her first ready-to-wear collection in 1989, SS21 marks the end of Miuccia Prada‘s solo reign and the start of a co-creative directorship shared with Raf Simons. Ushering in a new era for the label, the Simons-Prada partnership will come into play later this year, when the pair is said to premier their first joint collection.