Like most cities around the world, Prada made a move back into the outdoors. After being confined to indoor sets and staging, co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons took the Prada spring/summer 2022 menswear show outside. But to further emphasise on the collection's thematic narrative, it was a transitional experience thanks to the set designed by constant collaborator AMO.
The start of the show—still presented digitally through a pre-recorded runway video—began within a red tunnel illuminated by an overhead panel of lighting that covered the entire stretch. Models walked through the seemingly endless tunnel before being welcomed by the sight of blue sky and clear waters of the Capo Carbonara in Sardinia, Italy.
It was as clear as day, even if there wasn't much (if at all) that was offered in the show notes. The collection continued to be a remix of past Prada icons as well as Simons's own fascination with thigh-baring shorts. But more than that, the collection also seemed like a nod to the now-defunct menswear division of Miu Miu. While it's perhaps unlikely that Miu Miu Men would be back in the scene, this seemed like a throwback every self-professed fashion-obsessed individual would wholly appreciate.
Look and feel: The entire Prada spring/summer 2022 menswear collection felt like a yearning for the outdoors. Mrs Prada and Simons turned that emotion into a collection that's been designed for a seamless transition from the indoors to the outdoors. There was an obvious emphasis on shorts—because it's summer and no one wants to be swathed in fabric—but also nautical tropes done the Prada way.
Stripes, Simons-esque graphics of marine-themed imagery, fisherman-like gears, and hoodies that looked like they were made from beach towels, alluded to an escape to a paradise isle. But of course, they were all contained within more indoor-appropriate pieces in the form of tailoring and leather outerwear. It's the idea that removing just a couple of pieces, one is immediately ready for the sun, sea and sand.
Favourite looks: Only Mrs Prada and Simons could bring back rompers for men without us cringing at the sight and the thought of wearing one. The spring/summer 2022 collection's interpretation of the oft-controversial piece (do we need a one-piece that covers little and bares all?) was one that was cut relatively loose and allowed for breathing space. It's the perfect cut for a romper that every other brand thinking of venturing into the space should refer to. And it helped that in look 5 and 6 for example, the romper was printed with icons one would stereotypically find tattooed on a sailor, just to roughen the look up a notch.
Look 16's combination of an oversized blazer, strappy knitwear, and the collection's key swim-ready short shorts was classically Prada and one we'll be referencing when the season draws near. When the Mercury hits a high, all that's standing in the way of us and the pool, is just the blazer and knit. But those not willing to work on the gams, look 26 would be a better option. Wide-leg trousers were matched with a square-cut tank and worn over shorts for that same quick-change aesthetic.
Favourite accessories: There's a continuation of autumn/winter 2021's design element that extended the use of the Prada triangle logo into a zipped compartment affixed to accessories. For spring/summer 2022, the collection's bucket hats—remodelled into pieces that included a chin strap as well as an elongated back—were designed to carry through the functional design element, with the compartment fixed right at the back. Additionally, they're also embedded with slits meant to hold sunglasses (looks 33, 36 and 38), specifically the collection's Prada Linea Rossa ones, ensuring that they're always within reach.
The spring/summer 2022 collection introduced a few new bag shapes for the season. We're opting for the top-handle bucket bags (look 14) crafted from somewhat distressed leather and designed with an adjustable crossbody strap. It's Prada's interpretation of a beachwear classic and we're all for a luxe treatment that's still imbued with a sense of edge.
Oh, and let's not forget about the footwear. A good majority of the collection was juxtaposed with formal shoes—derby shoes, boots, the like—because it won't be a Prada collection without at least five points of contention. The derbies that were fitted with floral appliqués reminded us of a similar treatment for autumn/winter 2012 but beautifully emphasised this time around in scale and proportion.