As I write this, we're launching into the second working week of the year. We're back in the office staring out the windows as summer stretches on without us. At the same time, Milan Fashion Week is taking place, and on the third day Prada delivered a collection that, at its heart, spoke of an innate yearning for nature. It couldn't have come at a more fitting time.
When prodded about the collection, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons both referenced the cycles of nature. Upon first inspection, as guests found their seats in the corporate space designed by AMO to resemble an office interior, one would think the pair was being facetious. The set is drab and sterile with cold office downlights, that is until you stare at your feet. Beneath clear glass flooring is an undergrowth of lush green and bubbling springs. One is overcome by a sudden urge to break through to the stream below.
This dichotomy between natural and artificial surfaces in the clothes that follow. Stiff collared shirts, narrow ties and slim suiting are realised through wool, with herringbone trousers, accompanied by cashmere cardigans and sweaters. The beanies cannot be ignored, which fit snug like swim caps as if the models plan to swan dive into the stream below at a moments notice. Later, they morphed into pastel mariner's caps. Meanwhile, sunglasses had a swimming goggle quality.
The brogues confirm what we knew would be coming – slimmer, daintier footwear for men. Goodbye lug soles and chunky sneakers. And goodbye hem breaks. Prada wants you to show off your ankles.
Another highlight were the belts. Skinny leather styles are doubled, with the buckles twisted to sit on the hip bones. Then came thick options, redolent of boho disc belts, with interlocking triangles that seemed to, quite literally, point to ouroboros.