Prada Redesigns the Men Wardrobe

Prada's show is always awaited from the fashion world, much like the words of an oracle that will set the trends for the next season, but there was a period in the recent past where this gift was a bit blurred. For this men's collection (starting from last September women‘s and the MiuMiu shows) La Signora Miuccia gave back the major fashion statement everybody was begging for. This season, she actually took back the boring ties on a catwalk showing how fashion is a matter of talent and not just an empty manifesto. “We have a lot of open debates going on in the system: the match between tailoring vs sportswear, the quest on how to catch the attention of the young generations of consumer, how is the new masculinity, the sustainability and how the world will evolve in the next decades,” said the designer backstage before the show. “This made me make some considerations to find the right way to approach the men for this season. I sorted out with the concept I could define as “surreal classics” playing with dimension and geometries. I love the word “classic” because it refers to everything that last and has a meaning, so the show will be all about this, but with a twist to make it more modern.” The collection was almost perfect and took place in a metaphysic town square, with a deconstructed anti-hero horse statue, to describe a modern young man that loves to be suited in a contemporary way. The silhouettes alternate the boxy layered outerwear with the slim jackets, knits and shirts completed by stirrup pants perfectly dropped. The tailoring was a big part of the collection with shapes that alternate between wide and tiny. “I work on fabrics to define the shapes and shapes define elegance” specified the designer. “This time I wanted to exaggerate and be excessive in my way.” This was enough to bring us back to that Prada feeling that was missing for a while.


The show fulfilled the big need for aesthetic self-assurance perceived in these days of Milano fashion week. Many designers looked at the masculine archetypes with avidity to find a quick survival solution. So did Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland, the design directors of men’s ready-to-wear at Salvatore Ferragamo, by picking six male figures and professions and mixing them together to get a new look. The sailor, the surfer, the soldier, the car driver, the biker, the businessman – all contributed to redefining a hybrid that appeared interesting. The shapes, from narrow to wide, are changeable thanks to the velcro patches applied on the hips of jackets, coats and pants, used to enhance the tailoring to an unexpected twist by switching from A-shaped to an elongated silhouette. “To redefine a modern look I’m working on the idea of fusing different type of men instead of genders, it’s a research that really interest me, to understand how masculinity looks like in the next future,” explained the designers. “Utilitarian, sporty, elegant, can be shuffled working both on the fabrics and constructions side in a very interesting way.” The result was very sophisticated and the combination of formal, leisure and sport was well balanced, although the show itself was a bit refrained and didn't express the energy of the original concept.


“The roots and the ancestors are the sacred guides of our future as their own antique values and expertise that are the treasures to save,” explained Kean Etro before the show. “For this season I went back to Argentina after 15 years from my last collection inspired to the South American country. I was not into a specific reference, but it felt more the memories and I wanted to infuse their warm feeling, like a blanket that could be a dress if wrapped and became a kind of welcoming home.” The venue showed a striking contrast: a rough garage with dozens of old and precious portraits of ladies and gentlemen from Gimmo Etro's private art collection hanged on the walls. The light Argentinian touch could be found in the intense palette, the few ponchos and the velvets used for the fluid suits. “The jacket is one of those paradigms I wanted to add value, it’s a symbol of elegance but could be downplayed with a more creative lining,” explained the designer when showing his 15-year-old archive purple velvet jacket with his photo printed on the lining. Some prints from the mid-eighties have been reinterpreted to modernized the heritage and some of them have been punked with handwritten tags. The overall look was a bit opposed: on one side the references of the inspiration, on the other hand a too formal city look that jarred with latin warm inspiration. 


“I wrote to Dario Argento in a November friday as a fan could write to his idol, but surprisingly he answered the day after right away,” explained Massimo Giorgetti in the backstage before the msgm show. “We started to talk about his love for beauty and aesthetic and everything took shape. We focus on three among his iconic movies “Il Gatto a Nove Code”, “Suspiria” e “Profondo rosso” keeping elements for prints and the mood of the collection. I’m very proud and honoured to had the chance to work with such a master of cinema. He has been always fascinated by fabrics that he was using to color the lights of his movies.” Even if the inspiration of the collection was exciting, it lacked the “Argento” factor which could have been a fabulous part of the show. Apart from a few prints and details, the signature horror and dark elements of the Master were not so present. Plus, the several streetwear looks inserted seemed a bit out of sync. Maybe the time span from the agreement and the show was too short to rework the whole collection, but the occasion was worthy to push a bit more.


Backstage, before their Sunnei show, designers Loris Messina e Simone Rizzo talked about a deep tension that pervaded the whole 2019 year that ended opening a new era of the brand. The details about what happened weren't disclosed, but his designers wanted to share these difficult moments with the audience and the show really instilled it: the beating drums were so intense that the whole venue vibrated, something that was also clear in the collection. The playful aesthetic of the duo gave way to a more mature collection that kept the brand's codes but tuned them with a more real men and women (it was a co-ed show). “We kept our high-end research on fabric and layering them with more common materials,” explained the designers backstage. “The result is an updated silhouette that matches big volumes and reduced shapes.” The show was also the occasion to announce the collaboration with the bag's brand Valextra for an ongoing project of partnerships with other Milano-based fashion brands.

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