Prada mutates for next winter; Moschino goes retro
Following a devastating 2020 and a less than promising start to 2021, one might be wondering what next winter will look like. On Thursday, Milanese designers offered up to two radically different visions, with some projecting themselves forward into an uncertain future, while others returned to the carefree joy of an idyllic past. Nowhere were these two approaches more apparent than at Prada and Moschino.
Picking back up on the conversation started by its menswear collection in January, the former revealed a mutating wardrobe for a woman in search of herself. This season, contrasts are deliberately accentuated, with pieces oscillating between volume and tightness, masculine and feminine, a simple, almost crude, style and a certain sophistication.
The woman thought up by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons looks to have come from the Far North, wrapped in thick furs, coats with precious details or large buttons and knitted collars, loose oversized jackets or roomy blazers and fur stoles decorated with sequins and lined with printed silk. Dresses and skirts are rather austere, coming down below the knee. Somewhat unusually for Prada, there are also a selection of very long, tunic-like dresses.
The Prada woman reinvents her look every day, playing with layers and joining her male alter ego in adopting knitted grandpa-like long johns that feature multi-patterned geometric jacquard echoing the house's prints. These are worn like a second skin, either by themselves or under other pieces, such as dresses or suits. The models are practically covered from head to toe, with some long johns even coming down to cover the thick-soled boots that they are wearing.
At Moschino, Jeremy Scott continues to draw inspiration from haute couture's heyday, when adornment was all the rage. Having sent out glamorous outfits taken straight from the 1950s for Summer 2021, he focused on the golden age of Hollywood for Fall/Winter 2021-22, taking George Cukor's 1939 film The Women as his starting point.
Gathered in a parlour, a group of society ladies watches a theatrical runway show, staged through a series of scenettes that take place among different pieces of cardboard scenery. Here we find businesswomen wearing jackets or banker suits with shorts, striped shirts and regimental ties, all topped off with micro fascinators. For the weekend, they take to the country, donning dresses and retro ensembles tailored from potato sacks or fabrics depicting bucolic landscapes of green fields and grazing cows – a favourite animal of house founder Franco Moschino – beneath a blue, cloud-smattered sky.
At the museum, the models wear tight-fitting suits with sculptural shoulders and cinched-in waists that emphasise their curves with large glamorous hats. The show ends with a journey into the jungle, where the designer makes good use of his biting sense of humour to play with all of the exotic tropes of classic Hollywood. The safari jacket is transformed into a sexy lace-up bodysuit, a suit jacket and a mini top to be worn with never-ending thigh-high camel boots and hats with mosquito-net veils.
A zebra-print coat jostles with strapless dresses in giraffe and leopard – the latter complemented by a spotted tail and a matching balaclava with ears – as well as a reptilian golden suit featuring a crocodile-tail train. At the end of the show, it's the guests' time to shine, as they stand to collect a glass of champagne and exhibit their own sublimely eccentric evening gowns. These include a pink purse-dress with chain straps, and a red satin sheath dress with black hearts and a train, which is worn by Dita Von Teese and features a heart-shaped window that reveals her bare buttocks.
As different as these two collections are, there is a common thread running through them. First of all, the figure of the Milanese bourgeoise, who can be seen in Moschino's velvet-collared suits and in the overall aspect of certain Prada models in their chic coats and glamorous leather gloves. Another common theme can be found in the footwear, with both brands offering shoes with thick, platform soles. They immediately put one in mind of the shoes from the 1940s, from the Second World War and its aftermath. A reference to the current state of the world perhaps?
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