'The show that never happened'—that's what Prada called its men's spring/summer 2021 collection. Yet, in a sense, it was quite a show that was presented albeit in a form that curiously enough, worked exceptionally well for the collection.
Handling over the reins to five creatives to interpret the collection, the 'Multiple View SS21' film turned into a five-chapter collaboration. Each chapter was as unique and individual as the creatives who worked on them. Willy Vanderperre for example, took on an intense, almost Hitchcock-like suspenseful approach with a whirring soundtrack playing to black-and-white cuts. And Terence Nance rounded off the film by focusing on the Prada Linea Rossa series of the collection, in an equally haunting narrative.
One highlight of the almost 11-minute long film—which included a digital runway at the end—is seeing Miuccia Prada taking her usual quick bow before the credits rolled. It's an almost sombre moment seeing how this would most likely be the last time she would take that bow on her own, before co-creative director Raf Simons steps in for the women's spring/summer 2021 collection.
Look and feel: One word comes to mind when looking at Prada men's spring/summer 2021 collection: clinical. Every look had been constructed with such surgical precision, because when it comes to minimalism, silhouette and cut matters. And when a collection is purposefully stripped to its bare essentials, there needs to be a differentiation in how the simplicity is markedly different from (for lack of a better word), the basics. If anyone can execute that, it's definitely Mrs Prada.
"I think that our job as fashion designers is to create clothes for people, that is the honesty of it. That is really the value of our job—to create beautiful, intelligent clothes. This season, we focused on that idea: it is about clothes, about giving value to pieces. The clothes are simple—but with the concept of simplicity as an antidote to useless complication. This is a moment that requires some seriousness, a moment to think and to reflect on things. What do we do, what is fashion for, what are we here for? What can fashion contribute, to a community?" expresses Mrs Prada.
The overarching focus for spring/summer 2021 at Prada is the question of where, when and why clothes are worn. It's the exploration of these essentially simple questions that have resulted in a collection that's studied, and almost severely so. A couple of looks (42 and 43) are worn over bare skin to highlight the purity of such pieces—functional and protective at their most essential.
Favourite looks: For any fan or follower of Prada, there's a lot from the spring/summer 2021 collection that's familiar. In fact, most (if not all) the looks retained elements that have been part of Prada's design lexicon. The first look is classic Prada suiting—a four-button design that's cut high in the front, causing the lapel to be shrunken and take a form that resembles a camp collar—reworked with a slimmer profile. The same can be said of look 39's quintessentially Prada pairing of a notch-lapel coat, jumper and trousers, where for spring/summer 2021, the latter two are 'simplified' even further as loungewear. We can't help but be drawn to the iconic inverted triangle logo that's been interpreted as a sort of V-stitch on the jumper too.
Prada's nylon continues to play a key role in ready-to-wear. And look 17's bateau-neck jumper is a fine example of how malleable the material is when coupled with Mrs Prada's creativity. It's undoubtedly a functional layer—water-repellent and lightweight—but made so much more desirable because of its clean construction.
Lastly, look 55 has us wanting to make polos part of our style repertoire once again. Part of the sportswear-leaning Prada Linea Rossa series, its paired with knee-length tights and mesh shorts for an ensemble that captures Mrs Prada's take on contemporary futurism.
Favourite accessories: There are two variations of hobo-esque messenger bags for spring/summer 2021—one done in leather and another in nylon. We're gravitating towards the latter for its hard-wearing characteristic and lighter construction. They also come with attached pouches along the shoulder strap (we're sure additional pouches can be added or removed for an even minimal look) that's been a favourable design element of late. But really, when it comes to bags for the spring/summer 2021 season thus far, the Prada nylon bags are the best for throwing one's belongings in while being assured that they'll be protected from the elements—it just doesn't get any simpler than that.