Pointy shoes in many colours, blanket- type body wraps that have to be held up by the models, big Prada logos on chests, cut out dots … Prada’s show boasts seemingly futuristic elements, mixed with traditional shapes, such as pleated skirts, and trench coats.
Raf Simon’s and Miuccia Prada, who co- designed the collection, answer questions after the show that was exclusively screened online due to Covid. Below both answer questions to their SS2021 show and the ‘new PRADA’.
Miuccia start the conversation with three points that she’d like to mention, starting with her relationship to technic and machines, a subject that so far she ignore for her collections, but during the lockdown she realised how important and impactful technology is, therefore it’s been a big creative inspiration for this years’ show;
The collection shows a relationship between technology, machines and the girl.
The second point is that she thought having the opportunity to show the clothes on film only this fashion week, was something she embraced in the collection, because perhaps the clothes can be shown better on a filmed video, than a real fashion show. Thirdly she wanted to underline in her own words “how important sustainability and inclusivity is. It’s becoming more and more important for each person and for companies. each of us should embrace it and think about it – go home and do the home task of actually living it, not only declaring it, try little by little to be better.”
Raf Simons agrees with her and both continue to answer questions on video that fans have sent to them.
Miuccia: “We decided this quite spontaniously. Of course we joked in interviews in the past that we may want to work together one day, but it wasn’t planned. I am not sure how long ago we started saying it.”
Raf: “It never occurred that it would possibly happen but I am very happy about it. We’ve always been interested in each others’ work, and known each other for may years. Many years ago Miuccia offered me a position at Jil Sanders many hears ago, my introductoin to women’s wear. When the request came to work together, it was no question for me.”
Raf: “For me it comes very natural. I feel at ease with it.”
Miucccia: “it’s easier as we can share more. Sharing takes more energy than doing everything yourself, but it’s also more interesting.”
Raf: “decision making is strengthened if Miuccia also likes it, of course there is more confidence in the idea.”
Miuccia: “Yes it’s very consoling, one feels stronger.”
Raf: “in this sense it was easier emotionally and psychologically but of course there is more dialog.”
Miuccia: “we had little time because of corona, Raf arrived much later than anticipated, so we had to just get to work straight away, we did’t have too much time to re-discuss and re- evaluate.”
Miuccia: ‘”New’ is the nightmare of any designer, it is is for me at least. But perhaps it’s not so relevant at the moment because of corona I think it’s not the most important thing to do ‘ new’ at the moment. There are other thoughts and priorities.”
Raf: ‘Fashion always hopes for the new, every designer wants to be new. But I think if you are in it for a longer time, a few decades like us, it’s important to refresh your own body of work. The pure definition of ‘new’ is something we never seen before. A new young generation is coming, who will be bringing the ‘real new’.”
Miuccia: “Our presence is done with our past. It is somehow impossible I think to bring something completely new, never seen before. It’s our worry all the time but probably its not so relevant and not even possible.”
Raf: “It’s an interesting question but difficult to answer, because it also depends on how new is interpreted or defined. ‘New’ in which sense. Whether completely new, or new for the brand, or a revolution. It’s a difficult word.”
Miuccia: “Maybe as part of new things happening in the world. The New that makes sense comes from the society, it’s not just fabricated and as a designer it’s about being inspired by this ‘new’ and express it with our collections.”
Raf: “Both. This show was definitely about both. But we don’t create a specific way of working. We want to keep the freedom to choose what we do each collection, and how to perceive our own ways of working and transport it in different ways.”
Miuccia: “For sure fashion is about reaction to reality so what we do is a reflection of what happens in real life, and we can’t predict it yet.”
Miuccia: “Hot water, then breakfast +coffee. My mother taught me this, to always start my day with the hot water.”
Raf: “My version is less healthy. Coffee, then coca zero all day.”
Raf: “During my short time here, we talked a lot about me being the outsider looking at the company. I am still trying to think about how have I seen the Prada company and the brand for many years, and how do I perceive it now. Since more than 25 years I have always seen it as a community that has a very specific attitude, intellect and aesthetic. The one thing you can’t express, is what it exactly is that bring these embedded values. But it is there. I only like a very small amount of brands. This essence, the ‘ ness’ is what a brand needs to have for me to like it. Even thought’s difficult to pin point exactly what gives it to a brand.”
Minccia:” Learn learn learn: watch movies, read books, study, realise that clothes must be useful to someone, and define a purpose. Clothes are an instrument for someone’s life. They serve a purpose.”
Raf: “We talked about this subject a lot, I like this question. The discussion was about metaphorical uniforms, as you can see in the first part in our show we used this concept in our collection.
I often talk with Miuccia about how she dresses. She likes uniforms. They were an inspiration to me for the show. I also dress very simple.. black trousers, always Prada, not just because I work there, it’s always been this way, a shirt and shoes that I like, usually the same brand for a while, and then I change them again after a few years. What I wear on top changes, but the basis is the same.
A uniform needs to express something that is more timeless for me, rather than a specific fashion item.”
Miuccia: “I often change uniforms; at the moment it’s the white pleated skirt and the marine jumper I don’t know how long it will go until I change it to another one again.”
Raf: “A uniform base is different for everyone. My pant and my shirt is always the same, but I change what comes on top. It’s the idea of a basic shape, a start.”
Miuccia: “Yes what you feel well in and you’re able to think.”
Raf: “I prefer to think it comes from a collective subconscious. I like to think it’s not just what I feel. I hope with what I do it has impact enough with other people to agree with it, to join it, to have this interaction. Us working together also shows this. It goes to our friends, to our team, to the public.”
Miuccia: “For me too, I always think the designer is good if he can connect to the people and the reality. The more you can do this the more your designs make sense. In order to be meaningful for people, you have to be connected from what you read, you learn, you discuss The more you do this the more interesting is your job.”
Raf: “It’s also important that it’s right at the moment you’re doing it. I once had a discussion with a designer who didn’t want to do the thing he had done it 15 years ago. but it only works and makes sense if it’s done in the right moment in time.
Miuccia: “I agree, many things have a different meaning, depending on when they’re shown. Different questions get answered too, because people are in a different mindset.”
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