The joint efforts of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have not gone unnoticed. The very opposite, in fact—they’re all anyone can talk about. Since the announcement [hyperlink https://www.elle.com/fashion/a31067150/raf-simons-prada-co-creative-director/] of their co-creative director titles in February 2020, right before the COVID-19 led to global lockdowns, the runway has drastically changed. Their debut collection last September came with quiet fanfare, the only kind that can follow a digital show previewed at home, but their blooming partnership continues to flourish. Prada’s fall-winter 2021 collection gives us something to be excited about.
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In a post-show Q&A that followed the runway video, Team Prada brought the world together when everyone feels so far away. Hosting a digital roundtable (one that looks much chicer than your typical Zoom meeting), the conversation sat Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons alongside fellow creatives, including actress Hunter Schafer, director Lee Daniels (who hired Prada to recreate Billie Holiday’s outfits for his film The United States vs. Billie Holiday), and self-proclaimed Prada addict Marc Jacobs (“Prada-ness is Ms. Prada,” he states in the video), in a chat that spanned fashion as a form of storytelling amidst a global pandemic to collaboration in the arts to the newfound responsibilities in the fashion community. “Being involved in all the matters from diversity to gender,” Ms. Prada says, “you really have to be proactive, responsible.”
The collection itself is a mashup. We once again witness their two brains at work. Ms. Prada’s subversion of femininity and ’70s graphics is seen through the lens of Simons’s futuristic cuts, most noticeable in the silhouettes of oversized shoulders and heavy suits that pull away from the body. It’s an outerwear-heavy collection, bound to create future heirlooms. Sequins and faux fur cohabitate with Prada’s signature Re-nylon textile, now in the form of modern parkas, clutched by the models like pearls. Printed jacquard knits are reworked as leggings, turtlenecks, catsuits, and even bags. Unsurprisingly, it’s the accessories that stand out on the runway. Simons revisits the glove-pouch combo that seems fit for street style, even if those streets are the ones you stroll on your daily quarantine walk. Our favorite item? The heavy-hoofed boots that are practical only in that “Prada-ness” way: slightly impractical to the untrained eye, but cult-worthy nonetheless.
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