It was a landmark moment in fashion history yesterday as Prada unveiled its first collection under co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. In light of the current global situation, the Prada spring/summer 2021 womenswear collection was shown digitally through a runway video format.
The 40-look collection took cues from Prada's previous outings—including a print that was first introduced in 1996—merged with Simons' penchant for graphic typography. Silhouettes were kept simple and elegant, and Prada's signature nylon was used to full effect in outerwear and separates that fused with oversized front-flap compartments, that at times, resembled bags. Ardent fans of Mrs Prada and Simons would appreciate all the little nuances that referenced both of their fashion careers, especially having the models clutching their outerwear at the front—a typical Mrs Prada gesture as well as a move reminiscent of Simons' final collection for Jil Sander.
For the first time, Prada held a virtual press conference of sorts with the co-creative directors. Questions were taken from the general public via Instagram and the two exchange anecdotes and stories while maintaining social distancing (peep Mrs Prada's all-white face mask).
It's rare to see two of fashion's most loved giants bantering in the same room, what more doing so in a such a public forum. This may never happen again so we've compiled the five things that we've learnt about both Mrs Prada and Simons during the post-show interview.
Time was a factor
The spring/summer 2021 womenswear collection was done in a relatively short time. Mrs Prada revealed that because of COVID-19, Simons was only able to get to work later than expected. And when it came down to it, the partnership for the collection was more "instinctive" owed to the similarities in the kinds of things that they both like. "I'm sure that we will have time to think more and to discuss more," Mrs Prada expressed for future collections.
It has been easy
"Decision-making is, for me, strengthened when I know that Miuccia likes very much what I also like very much. So even if I'm convinced, my decision is strengthened when I know that she is convinced; and the other way around," Simons responded when asked on how the process of working together has been like.
Mrs Prada concurred: "That is very consoling. Or gives more strength that somebody that you really trust, shares the same idea."
The mutual respect is undeniable between the two. But Simons jokingly (and perhaps added a touch of realism) that it has been easy "so far", to which Mrs Prada agreed with a laugh.
There is no fixed 'one-size-fits-all' method to the collaboration
When asked if the collaboration will be a combination of two ideas into one or one creative director leading the charge, the answer was a succinct "both". While the first collection was an obvious merging of styles, Simons was quick to express that there's no specific way of working. He went on to elaborate that there could be times where Mrs Prada would have an idea that she feels strongly for and one that he could relate to, and vice versa, without a collection being a constant dialogue of two conversations. The idea is that with two creative directors onboard at Prada, there's a freedom in the way collections are realised.
"And for sure, reacting to what is happening. Because fashion is about reacting to reality," added Mrs Prada.
Their personal uniforms
It's apparent in both of their careers that Mrs Prada and Simons have a fascination with the idea of uniforms. To the both of them, it's a personal concept that's interpreted differently by different people and has to do with an individual's style. Mrs Prada shared that her personal uniform changes according to what she's obsessed with—for now, it's a cotton pleated skirt and a blue jumper. For Simons, it's always been a pair of black Prada trousers and an untucked shirt. He also expressed that personal uniforms act as a recurring base layer to one's look from which more fashion items are added on.
The only difference between the two
In the most casual question of the session, the co-creative directors revealed the one dissimilarity that they share: morning drinks. While Mrs Prada starts off her day with hot water (an advice given to her by her mother), Simons takes to coffee and then Coke Zero for the rest of the day.