Prada shows are always a big highlight of fashion month, but when we tell you this season’s outing was sheer perfection, we’re not exaggerating. Both Raf Simons and Mrs. P herself both spoke of being bored of lofty fashion chat backstage – they’re as sick of esoteric, hard to decipher show notes as the rest of us – and so, they told the crowds that surrounded them, they really just wanted to talk about the clothes. And seriously, what clothes they were.
With Prada HQ’s showspace transformed into a low-ceilinged tunnel contained within metal grills, the slime from the SS24 menswear was back, only this time, it was pink, dripping from the ceiling and pooling in big lube-y piles on the floor beneath. But while the menswear collection for the season felt kind of sinister, with a subtle, almost creepy edge – courtesy of a series of shirts bearing illustrated prints of HR Giger’s aliens and War of the Worlds’ tripods – the women’s offering was lighter, with crystal-studded knits layered over swirling, showgirl-esque sequin skirts, and embellished leather opera coats clutched tight across the chest.
One place where an extraterrestrial influence peeked through – intentionally or otherwise – was in a procession of light as air shift dresses. In pale shades of sugared almond, each was overlaid with the most delicate panels of silk organza, which fluttered out behind the models that wore them like jellyfish tendrils oscillating in the current. After last season’s womenswear collection stripped back to basics – all slick tailoring, pointy collars, and neat pencil skirts – this time around, the devil was in the details, with the whole show signalling a return to something a lot more sensual. Other standouts included the brilliantly awkward square-toed kitten heels, a reiteration of a 1930s Prada bag complete with a pretty unique carved clasp, and the black wig caps worn by the models – that Mrs P commitment to exploring the ‘ugly’ shining through.
The show finished with a touching moment in which, when taking their finale bow, Miuccia and Raf brought Fabio Zambernardi out to join them. After 40 years with the brand, the design director is heading out into the sunset and parting ways with Prada. Click through the gallery above for a closer look at the collection, and head here for more from the SS24 shows.