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Prada SS24 menswear alien
Photography Emma Davidson

Prada’s xenomorph shirt is the best look of SS24 so far

Raf and Mrs. P’s Alien-themed collection was a sci-fi fashion nerd’s wet dream

By now, you’ve seen the SS24 Prada men’s show. On Sunday afternoon, at the Italian house’s Fondazione – and to audible gasps from the audience – pale green slime poured in sheets from the corrugated steel ceiling, creating a thin film that warped the models as they walked. Pooling in piles on the runway, the gloop was a very literal representation of the themes of the collection, this season named Fluid Forms. But for movie buffs and sci-fi nerds sitting in the stands, it evoked the grotesque moments in the Alien franchise when the xenomorphs' acidic blood burns through the air vents and darkened walkways of the Nostromo space vessel.

Turns out, they’d hit the nail on the head, and seemingly Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons had sat down to watch the films before creating this season’s offering: though not immediately evident on the catwalk – thanks to those dripping curtains of slime – the collection’s core shirts bore discrete and exhilarating details when you got up close. Hidden among the Hawaiian prints and obscured by lengths of Western-style fringing were gruesome, cartoony prints of the Aliens themselves, the flower-like eggs they hatch from, and other intergalactic horrors, like the towering tripods from War of the Worlds

The collection, Raf and Mrs. P explained, was in part an exploration and deconstruction of traditional masculinity, and what better representation of the fragility of masculinity than a ravenous alien plastered across – though thankfully not bursting from – your chest. Less literally, the sinister motifs also alluded to the monster within, which has been a real theme of the season – just a few days earlier at Milan Fashion Week, Pierpaolo Piccioli peppered his Valentino collection with quotes from cult novel A Little Life, which takes a headlong dive into the male psyche and turns out something harrowing and beautiful. 

Soundtracked by pulsating Nine Inch Nails track "Closer", even the rest of the collection suggested an SS24 sci-fi marathon: angular playsuits and outerwear were punctuated with multiple pockets, while many looks were finished with functional utilitarian gilets. Turned out in shocks of scarlet red and with tufts of grey faux fur, plenty of the pieces felt indebted to the overalls worn by the crew of the Nostromo. 

After a couple of clean, cool almost to the point of cold collections from the house, this season’s offering felt like it slipped back into quintessentially Prada territory – littered with the fashion Easter eggs and nerdy little references the brand is so beloved for. Yes, the visceral novelty of the oozing slime was good, but up close, at a distance that allowed you to take in all the details, the clothes were best of all.