Prada Menswear Spring/Summer 2021 Milan

What’s the mission of a fashion designer today? Creating honest garments, according to Miuccia Prada, as she demonstrated with her desirable collection.

One voice, multiple views. For her last collection as the solo Prada creative director — starting from September she will be joined at the creative helm by Raf Simons — Miuccia Prada let five artists interpret her spring effort through five short videos, offering different interpretations and takes on the men’s and women’s lineup.

The message came through as strong, coherent and cohesive as ever. The pandemic, the economic crisis, the social tensions spreading around the globe can’t leave anyone indifferent, and cannot leave a sensitive designer like Prada unresponsive.

“I think that our job as fashion designers is to create clothes for people, that is the honesty of it. That is really the value of our job — to create beautiful, intelligent clothes. This season, we focused on that idea: it is about clothes, about giving value to pieces,” Prada said. “The clothes are simple — but with the concept of simplicity as an antidote to useless complication. This is a moment that requires some seriousness, a moment to think and to reflect on things. What do we do, what is fashion for, what are we here for? What can fashion contribute, to a community?”

In keeping with her commitment, the designer embraced an unfussy yet highly sophisticated approach, minimal yet emotional. Combining function and aesthetics, she proposed the alpha and the omega of the brand’s fashion lexicon, exuding no nostalgia, only contemporary desirability.

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Touches of Nineties minimalism emerged along with a subtle Sixties vibe, but Prada really focused only on what is relevant today, for boys and girls, men and women, living in our own world, with its joys and its limits.

Sharply cut, narrow silhouettes defined the men’s wear, where impeccable sartorial suits and uncomplicated outerwear styles, all worn with crisp white shirts, were juxtaposed with jersey bombers, track pants, lightweight jackets with a workwear feel, as well as cozy ribbed knits in powdery tones.

In the women’s wear, the precise, graphic lines of duchesse coats and suits worn with stirrup pants were counterbalanced by the couture-like volumes of feminine frocks and full skirts, sometimes stamped with Prada’s iconic metallic triangle tag. Playing a restrained palette of solids, including black, white, gray and hints of camel and powder pink, Prada introduced two delicate floral motifs, which seemed like fragile, pretty flowers growing from concrete.

The designer’s functional approach reached a peak with the garments of the Linea Rossa range, where futuristic elements collided with retro touches in high-end activewear with a polished allure.

Focusing on purity and the essential, on practicality and authenticity, Prada’s collection explored the power of simplicity.

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