A dark tale in Prada

MILAN — I’m knee deep in Stephen King’s Tale. It seems to be the perfect paradigm for the chaotic here and now. Behind the shaky pretense of reality is another world, the land of Oz, where human falsity and abject horror coexist to such an inconvenient level that the apocalypse is constantly breaking out.

I glanced at Prada’s set on Thursday—doors and windows violently ripped from the black background, offering glimpses of an abstract, busily colored beyond—and I thought: Whoa! A fairy tale.

That’s because I’m a very impressive person. But Miuccia Prado and Raf Simons hired director Nicolas Winding Refn (you know him for Valhalla Rising, Drive, Netflix’s Too Old to Die Young and his scathing fashion satire The Neon Demon). atmosphere for their show. Which he did. He called it the touch of the gross: the touch so gentle, the gross so formless, unfinished. And so the collection went wild.

There were four rooms: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room. Household shelter. They created a backdrop for clothes that very deliberately, perversely twisted the usual: a back-to-front cardigan; a dense sweater and skirt, made delicately worthless of the finest wool; a couture silhouette — a bag jacket and a pencil skirt — made of distressed biker leather; the sheer nightgown turned into daywear. There was an effect of sloppiness in the clothes, with unfinished hems and incomplete color blocking. Perversion again. These pieces had a light glamor that was characteristic of Prada. As Julia Nobis twirled on the catwalk, her black taffeta dress was open to the base of her spine. Or not so open as canceled. Especially since there was also a rose and a long black plume. She was a widow in the most cheerful mourning.

Ah, about those rosettes, as camellia-like as one of Chanel’s tacks. Or the lily-of-the-valley motif on the sheath dress (remember, Dior’s favorite flower). Or a slip dress that replicated the world of Martin Margiela Simons. Or the way some models clutched their coats in the intimate gesture that became such a sensational signature for Simons at Jil Sander. There were moments when it seemed like a fashion show that takes place in a parallel world where no one knows about these references, where everything old is made new. Memorable note. Memento mori.

Speaking of parallel worlds, the show was accompanied by a video of Prada, Simons and Refn sharing their thoughts in a room draped in eerie curtains like the Red Room in Twin Peaks. Prada talked about how an object—such as a garment—can embody a vision. They were wrinkled, unkempt, and had the random illogic of sleep. A dark tale.

https://www.businessoffashion.com/reviews/fashion-week/prada-milan-fashion-week-ready-to-wear-spring-summer-2023/ A dark tale in Prada

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