September 23, 2016

Past Forward by Prada

“This elegance is a little bit of a misfit, brought into the here and now and all of its contradictions, both the good and the bad”. This is how Miuccia Prada described her new aesthetic interpretation of a graphic and hyper-visual femininity. A mix of small, lightweight feathers, figure-hugging Velcro, oriental pyjamas, and technical details. Very manga-bourgeois

di Stefano Roncato

Past Forward by Prada

The women moving on the screens seem to merge with the girls strutting along the catwalk, constructed within a suspended metallic structure. A cast of different faces, new ones and those of supermodels, oriental-style pyjamas, and ostrich feathers adorning shawls, skirt hems, and low-heeled shoes. Women on their way to meetings; as portrayed by Prada up on the catwalk during the show, and in the video being projected around the room. This is an extract from Past Forward, the short film created by David O. Russell in collaboration with Miuccia Prada, which will go on show in Los Angeles next November. The collection seems to display an introspective glamour, a Hollywood (after) party. “This elegance is a little bit of a misfit, brought into the here and now and all of its contradictions, both the good and the bad”, as explained by the lady herself, Miuccia Prada, to MFF. At the end of the show, she ditched her usual minimal appearance from backstage to welcome the American Hustle filmmaker onto the stage. “The idea for this collaboration came from a discussion about having the same kind of sensitive, simple, human, and passionate mind-set. We are obsessed with feminine women of various races. We are attracted to the things that matter in life. Love or fear in relationships”. Aspects that are conveyed in dresses dedicated to a, this time, clothing-oriented past forward, an intentional oxymoron. A mix of the fashion house’s typical elements and a touch of space. Grey, camel for a bit of deception, and then a torrent of contrasts between geometric and floral prints. New ugly chic with a three-dimensional focus. Large Velcro tags break up the figures, pressing up against them, and giving a twist to a classic garment. Technical fabrics are mixed together with precious fabrics, embroidery, and jersey; with oversized, almost street-looking necklaces; and with sea-effect items with French knickers worn with a jacket or a blouse. Sporty hints can be seen here and there, in the sandals, in the long, colourful strips on the bags, or in the little belts that bring a touch of modernity to a black sheath dress; an item of clothing symbolising a newly interpreted aesthetic to open the show. This is revealed amongst an almost manga-bourgeois, hyper-graphic theme running throughout. “Elegance was a word we didn’t dare use because it can seem old-fashioned. But it denotes sensitivity and culture”.

Verdict? Miuccia Prada takes your breath away, and she seems to have taken a deep breath too. She wanted to portray a new kind of femininity that begins with self-exploration, to then become a very sharp and clear-cut aesthetic manifesto. A current trend? Not a chance, and it doesn’t need to be. Everything is within her repertoire, and nothing is even a millimetre out of place. Everything seems to have a reason for being there in that moment, right on point. Right here, right now.