MFW: Prada and Raf Simons debut first menswear collaboration
Jan 18, 2021
A 70s faux fur backdrop by Rem Koolhaas and the design ancillary of his architect firm OMA set the scene for Prada’s first menswear collection in collaboration with co-creative director Raf Simons. The presentation, once again executed in a digital format while physical fashion remains interrupted, was met with a post-show press conference and Q&A with the designers.
A collection based on the humble long john
Of the 42 looks, the collection centred on the body-hugging long john, which came in a multitude of fabrics, textures, prints, even fits – from polo neck variations to round neck to fully-buttoned V neck - in solid knits, jacquards and art deco iterations. Of itself, the long john is a fitting and insulating garment perhaps symbolic of the current zeitgeist as an item that represents something close to the body, enveloping the person and his feelings in these times of flux. Much like in the duo’s women’s AW21 collection, where a shawl covered the shoulders with a rectangular cut of fabric – both shawl and long john are garments that blanket the wearer.
In various iterations, the long john was worn under suiting with rolled-up sleeves, where colourful prints decorated the model’s arms. Great coats, parkas with contrast ribbing MA-1 bomber jackets were the crux of the collection. Outerwear, mostly oversized in proportions to provide comfort and protectio, were decorated with striking jacquards, with linings so sumptuous the coats ought never to be closed.
There were Prada logos and hardware on sleeve arms, gloves and wrist-bags, the latter a pandemic-perfect accessory when no one wants to touch surfaces. The kind of commercial items that will do well on e-commerce platforms.
In a pre-show interview with the New York Times Prada and Simons said the most complicated discussion in fashion is deciphering what is new. “This men’s collection will be more the two of us,” said Miuccia Prada. “We are building. I think it’s more rich. Simple lines but also ideas that are more physical and sexy.”
Image courtesy Prada