This leggy show went long on short shorts and tablecloth checks. Prada Men’s Spring 2023 in Milan.
Watching guests file into Prada’s runway theater in Milan, it’s obvious that fashion-forward men are embracing shorts, finishing them off with a variety of footwear: most often dress shoes and socks, but also futuristic sneakers, and occasionally rubber boots.
Just like the invitation – a life-sized mock-up of a red gingham shirt made of waxy paper. Gingham appearing in some dozen of looks in this Spring/Summer 2023 collection from Prada.
All unveiled in Prada Torre, the brand’s cathedral-like show space, redecorated with enormous rolls of eco-friendly white paper, with cut-out De Chirico-worthy windows and enclaves.
But first came the razor sharp, super 100 suits, neat and natty meetings of classic Prada materials and Raf Simons generous Belgium silhouette. All anchored with a marvelous new range of mock cowboy boot with up-turned toes, which will be hugely influential.
There was a time, 40 years ago, before Italian cuisine became fashionable when gingham was associated with cheap restaurants serving spaghetti Bolognese. So, it all felt rather brainy for a luxury brand like Prada, to ironically decontextualize the fabric and turn it into something smart.
Yet despite all the witty irony this was far from a flawless show. The raging soundtrack mix of Sonic Youth felt bombastic rather than dramatic. And, in a newly influencer obsessed Prada, quite why the house decided to dress them in winter clothes was willfully eccentric. Seeing self-absorbed young men wandering around in the sweltering heat in heavy leather spy coats; cable wool sweaters and blazers with fur-encrusted leathers was pretty absurd.
Post-show, the stars all surged into the backstage –Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeff Goldblum and Rami Malek – wide eyed and wowing as they embraced Miuccia Prada.
They at least were in summer clothes.