In an unprecedented move Miuccia Prada supplied press notes for guests of her menswear show. So instead of offering up cryptic answers to bewildered journalists desperate to understand the meaning and significance of a collection after the show, she just spelled it out in block white lettering.
“This first part of the Autumn/Winter 2015 fashion show continues Prada’s analysis of the relationship between men and women. What are the unexpected possibilities, the various relationships, that may occur between the way men and women can or would dress? The way they represent themselves? This is a subject always under investigation.”
The notes go on, but the gist of it was about the continuous cross pollination between the sartorial staples of menswear and womenswear. It’s a topic that has fascinated Prada throughout her career and the blurring of the lines to the point of undefinable uniformity, has been a touchstone for her in the past, more specifically, in her era of minimalistic exploration in the 1990s.
This time the show, presented in a series of low ceiling rooms with metal gate corridors for runways, was a gender melange on multiple levels. As hot Hollywood actors Milles Teller and Dane DeHaan (the ss14 Prada poster boy) watched from the front row, the designer sent out a line-up that was split down the middle. Twenty-one menswear looks and twenty womenswear pre-collection ensembles were woven together. All but one colorfully plaid coat showed up in shades of black, gray and navy. Menswear suiting (six button double blazers anyone?) with razor sharp pleats and women in apron dresses featuring sexy open backs and flat bow embellishments were the order of the day. A play of matte and shiny fabrics were used to give these clinical minimal, often nylon, designs more definition. But seeing as Prada put some of the women in pieces that could just as easily come from a man’s wardrobe, there was a sense that it was almost impossible to spot where the menswear ended and the womenswear began- and vice versa.
This was exactly what Prada wanted to accomplish with this collection. And as far as that goes, it was an unmitigated success.