Miuccia Prada divided up her Fall/Winter 2018 collection into several different “species,”
noted after speaking with the designer following the show. But how else could you even begin to describe this amalgamation of garments—with some looks amalgamations in and of themselves. Part archival and part forward-facing, this collection hit not just upon a single idea from the brand’s past, but a collection of sublines and graphics as well; the joy in seeing the collection on shelves in the near future is going to be deciphering what graphics mean what, why they were put there and what collections Miuccia’s mashed up together. Vogue’s Luke Leitch
“I have a passion for nylon,” Miuccia explained to
. “A love I could die for. Nylon is the emblem of the industrial side and when we started doing it, it was completely unusual.” Perhaps it’s this current passion that had Miuccia digging deep into her Pocone past. As WWD Vogue pointed out in its review, Prada’s use of the nylon material (primarily used for packaging) in 1984 helped turn Prada from “old guard” to avant-garde.
It’s no secret that the brand’s ability to embrace the ugly or the unconventional has made it the “thinking man’s brand” for decades. But uniquely, aside from ruminating on the references and callbacks to other Prada collections, an even bigger question emerged: “when do these pieces hit stores, and how many can I cop in my size?” It's trite to say, but with so many different takes on Prada history, well...there
really is something here for every Prada fan.
The early lineup of Pocone garments (shown until roughly look 26) give off various takes on the idea of “industrialism.” Of course the material being used conjures up the durability and stiffness of workwear (even when worked into smooth, boxy, slightly-shiny coats, camp shirts, anoraks and bucket hats). But it’s the workbadge-esque accessories—featuring logos that feel ripped from both the 1970s and the early-2000s at the same time—take the “workwear” and industrial elements into a more literal (albeit still charming) territory.
After tapping into her nylon-laden past (shout out the
Fall/Winter 1994 collection) the show swerved from dark and stoic to bright and referential. If Miuccia had spent the last few months cutting and pasting collages of Prada graphics found within the archives of the Fondazione, then one could certainly believe these looks were the fruits of her labor. Flame prints from Spring/Summer 2012 paired with bananas from Spring/Summer 2011 to start, evolving and cross-referencing a timeline that seemed to span from 1996 to 2016. If you missed out on the Kanye West-favorite “Impossible True Love” shirt from [Fall/Winter 2016] https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2016-menswear/prada#collection), you’ll have another crack at it here; albeit adorned with horizontal stripes or crossed-up with floral prints.
But, seemingly not to leave anything (or anyone) out of the offering, Miuccia dug into the Linea Rossa line—perhaps better known as Prada Sport. Originally founded in 1997, the diffusion line seems nearly tailor-made for today’s interest in the intersection between fashion and sport. But while the tech-infused line has faded from its late-’90s glory (
those Phil Poynter campaigns…) into a focus mainly on eyewear, the reappearance of the line seems so perfectly modern that it’s hard to feel like the diffusion label has gone anywhere at all. As a testament to Miuccia’s genius, the designer worked in just enough of the line without distracting from her original thesis, tucking the brand right into the middle of her offering in a way that felt organic, but still future-facing.
While only your personal opinion will tell you if this one of Milan’s best shows of the season, we can say with confidence that this is certainly going to be one of the most
talked-about collections well after fashion month wraps up.