The first thing I noticed was the rocket ship. It was nestled between the model’s breasts, messily stitched into her maroon jumper. Furrowing my brow and leaning in closer to the image on my screen, I tried to understand. A rocket ship didn’t seem very PRADA. But then again, there is a first time for everything, and I guess that rule applies to high fashion, too.
The model and her aeronautic-esque jumper were spotted on the runway at PRADA’s Spring/Summer 2016 menswear collection in Milan – because having only menswear in a menswear collection is just so dull. But the rocket ship jumper wasn’t the only fun surprise.
In an exploration of the role of modesty in an era that demands so much barefaced self-promotion, Miuccia Prada attempted to make her models as human and as humble as she could. This was a collection with three titles, the designer said —“post modest, post-industrialist and post-pop”. In an interview with The Guardian, Prada spoke of the difficulty of retaining modesty and humanity when it is so necessary to be “bold, aggressive and loud” in the modern world. The result of this transfusion between meekness and self-praise was symbolised by the somewhat cut-and-paste appearance of her collection.
Male models showed a little skin as they graced the catwalk in slouchy short shorts paired with lightweight blazers, worn over the top of striped shirts in soft mustard, yellow and blue hues. Straight-legged trousers were also prominent, teamed with playful printed jumpers featuring cartoon rabbits and miniature racecars. Here, Prada displayed the perfect combination of stoic maturity and boisterous play.
But it was the women who really turned heads (and not only because it was a menswear show). Donned in palette sequins, shift dresses and knee length skirts that featured a mash up of compromising printed fabrics, they were playful, feminine, and in control. Hair was left purposely curly to convey humanity and normalness, the designer said. With their wispy locks, and their socks pulled decidedly up in their pointy-toed heels, they captivated the crowd with true PRADA panache.
“Because modesty is not anymore for today,” Prada said backstage after the show.