Prada has always been a Milan Fashion Week Men's highlight. The Italian fashion brand was (and in some cases, still is) the blueprint that other designers would often look to as reference for where fashion is heading towards. In the time that she's been heading the brand's creative direction, Miuccia Prada has successfully crafted a distinct image for Prada and created memorable hits on the runway.
For autumn/winter 2022, the menswear collection—and by extension, the runway show—reminded me of a truly unforgettable collection: men's autumn/winter 2012. Besides the fact that it remains as one of my top three favourite Prada collections of all time, the show featured a host of respected actors in the model line-up. Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe and Adrien Brody walked the runway in Prada's regal interpretation of formalwear, while Gary Oldman closed the show.
Perhaps in some ways, it was a celebration of the ten-year anniversary of said collection. Co-creative director Raf Simons does have a penchant for rehashing older Prada concepts and then recontextualising them for now, and I'm almost certain that this was another brilliant attempt. The autumn/winter 2022 reworking saw a rather diverse cast of Hollywood actors in the mix—from young, up-and-coming actors the likes of Louis Partridge, Asa Butterfield, Ashton Sanders and Jaden Michael to seasoned icons such as Kyle MacLachlan and Jeff Goldblum, who opened and closed the show respectively.
Chalk it up to pure marketing genius if you will, but seeing Goldblum walking down the runway in a coat trimmed with exquisite mohair and doing so in such dramatic flair—as the kids these days say—gave me life. And of course in today's context, provided the ammo for a barrage of memes that only serve to give Prada all the attention.
It's true what they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or at least, in Prada's case, do it a few notches better than before.
Look and feel: The Prada autumn/winter 2022 menswear collection was themed around the mundaneness of reality that is work. Mrs Prada and Simons heightened that sense of the everyday by crafting uniforms made from more precious materials to embody elegance and sophistication.
The entire collection felt formal; a complete 180 to the more casual approach that most brands have adopted since the pandemic. Just like the autumn/winter 2012 menswear collection, there was an emphasis on tailoring and especially midi-length coats cut with flattering waist-accentuating silhouettes. But formality didn't necessarily equate to staid rigidity. Workwear boiler suits were rendered in either technical silk or leather and in rich colours, matched tone-on-tone with gloves.
Favourite looks: Look 2 (worn by Louis Partridge) was classic Prada and consisted of all the elements that makes the brand a force—the collection's beautifully crafted coat, worn over a mint silk coordinate that's layered over a clean white Prada turtleneck, and then layered over another in signature Prada graphic print. The more pared down version in look 17, especially with that aubergine silk boiler suit is one I'm particularly fond of too—if not for the colour and material, for the generous cut and styling possibilities.
Outerwear is no doubt Simons's strongest suit and for autumn/winter 2022, he's given us more to lust after. Look 22's bomber-coat hybrid was pretty much an evolution of autumn/winter 2021's but this time designed with a leather belt with a triangular Prada pouch attached.
Favourite accessories: There weren't much in the vein of bags that were appealing. The large, soft leather holdalls looked great but hardly anything to shout about. The smaller accessories however, felt more contemporary. In a brilliant display of recontextualising Prada icons, the Prada Robot Tricks were fashioned as single earrings (looks 15, 22 and 26) that were a playful juxtaposition to the seriousness of the entire collection. Now, maybe, just maybe, Prada might have just convinced me to get my ears pierced.