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Prada Ethan James Green Virginia Arcaro
Prada AW17Photography Virginia Arcaro

What went down at Prada’s AW17 menswear show

Breaking down the moments and inspirations from Miuccia Prada’s latest collection

“The desire for humanity, simplicity and reality,” said Miuccia Prada of the feeling that fuelled her AW17 menswear and pre-AW17 womenswear show, staged yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. While Prada is known for her high-art references, this season she retreated into something more naïve, presenting a collection filled with “normal” materials like corduroy and leather, and pendants resembling the sort of trinkety ephemera you might find in an old person’s home, such as shells and crystals. “My inspirations are so many and so complex that to summarise is impossible,” she said before describing the sentiment of “going from bigness to smallness” as the driving force behind the collection, and juxtaposing the scale of the fashion and art worlds with that of a “more human, more simple” reality. Here, we break down the key moments from the show and inspirations behind the collection. 

THE BEDS ON THE SET

While Prada mentioned the “big deal of (the) installation”, the set of yesterday’s show also had something human and perhaps homely, about it: beds. As well as seats, members of the audience perched on beds made up with leather linen, making the event a more intimate affair.

THE CORDUROY AND LEATHER

Last season’s menswear show saw Prada employ a lot of modern fabrics – namely nylon, which dominated the show. This time however, she went for something more traditional and “country” – “I love the idea of corduroy and leather,” she said. “Basically, the whole collection is done from these two materials. They give a sense of normality.”

THE 70S INSPIRATION

With the corduroy, leather, berets, biker hats and off-kilter knits, the collection has a distinct air of the 1970s – something that the designer didn’t initially plan, though she admitted to reflecting on the importance of the decade in terms of social progress. “I didn’t want to (reference the 70s) but it came out naturally – it was a very important period for protests, rights. Now protests are very necessary.”

THE TWIG PENDANTS

Pendants came in the form of twigs hung from gold and silver chains; some were simply fixed with a clasp, while others featured miniature monkeys clinging on to them as if they were trees. According to Prada, “some people went to pick (the twigs) from the wood.”

THE SHELL NECKLACES

Other pendants featured large crystals resembling lucky charms, while others comprised of sea shells, strung into chains or trimmed with fur. These, according to Mrs Prada were a “naïve gesture” – “I like the example of low-art and naïve things,” she explained. The shoes (leather and ponyskin penny loafers) were also trimmed with fur, adorned with big furry tassles and jewel-encrusted buckles, and worn with socks printed with patterns that resembled slightly gauche 70s wallpaper.

Watch the show below: