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Prada teams up with five creatives for SS21 showcase

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jul 15, 2020

Prada wanted to bring into focus the clothes for its spring/summer 2021 digital presentation by replacing a singular statement with the “perspectives of many”, by teaming up with five creatives, Terence Nance, Joanna Piotrowska, Martine Syms, Juergen Teller and Willy Vanderperre to interpret the Italian fashion house’s latest collection shown during Milan digital fashion week.

The concept for Prada’s ‘Multiple Views’ presentation was to allow each creative the chance to propose a film capturing a facet of the Prada collection, to share their own point of view on Prada’s men’s and women’s collections that was “distinct and definite in its creative statement and ideology,” explained the brand.

The collection was showcased in five chapters, to create a “true conversation” added Prada, as part of its aim to echo the feeling of a traditional fashion show, as each artist had their own physical and ideological vantage-point on the collection, to express “their own opinions, their own observations”.

Prada added in the show notes: “This is an embracing and celebration of that multiplicity - when people cannot commune, we can establish a different type of community, united through ideas, goals, beliefs.”

Miuccia Prada showcases last solo collection as part of Milan digital fashion week

The first chapter was by photographer Willy Vanderperre, filmed in black and white offering what he states a “slightly schizophrenic” experience with the camera movement, the models coming from all directions and the eerie music.

This was followed up by photographer Juergen Teller, who shot the collection in an industrial factory, highlighting the details of the garments using film and photographs all stitched together accompanied by a disjointed soundtrack featuring a piano piece interrupted with factory machinery noise.

Commenting on taking part, Teller, said in the show notes: “It was an honour to be asked to photograph and film Miuccia‘s last collection. I thought the men and women looked beautiful, elegant and modern. I enjoyed looking at Miuccia‘s vision and trying to make sense of it as honest and direct as possible.”

For chapter three, London-based Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska went for a more conceptual piece for her black and white film, with the models using finger snaps to demand attention back to the collection, to “refocus the viewer’s attention to each new look”.

While American artist Martine Syms created a film inspired by cinema culture for chapter four featuring models in a movie theatre, strutting between the seats, down the aisle and even climbing over the seats, intercut with “beautiful people staring at images of themselves on monitors”.

The final chapter five by American filmmaker, writer, director, actor and musician Terence Nance was inspired by the idea of “speed and play” to showcase the sport-inspired pieces of the spring/summer 2021 collection.

Prada highlights simplicity of its tailoring for SS21

At the end of the digital presentation was a closer look at the collection with a more traditional catwalk format, allowing Prada to bring the focus back to the “simple clothes” featured in technical and formal fabrics to offer “longevity and a place within people’s lives”.

Prada explained the understated aesthetic in the show notes: “As times become increasingly complex, clothes become straightforward, unostentatious, machines for living and tools for action and activity.

“A radicalism is found in purity – simplicity with a complexity, yet an antidote to useless complication in precision and directness. Contradiction is celebrated: in apparent fragility can be found strength, through rigour joy. A sense of lightness not only of physicality but of emotion – the dynamism of sportswear translates throughout, a sense of enjoyment, energy, fun. A reason for fashion.”

Menswear pieces came in a sharp, narrow and fitted silhouette, featuring technical fabrications of Prada nylon and stretch materials juxtaposed with traditional suiting, while for women those same fabrics were given couture volumes and elements taken from lingerie.

This is a collection highlighting how to simplify and pare back fashion, combining a sportswear-inspired aesthetic with formal and utilitarian workwear-influenced pieces, utilising technical innovations and function to dictate form and structure in the muted colour palette of mainly black, grey, white and beige. Spring/summer 2021 for Prada is all about wearable clothes.

This marks Miuccia Prada's last collection as solo creative director of Prada, as Raf Simons joined the house as co-creative director in April, with their first joint collection to be unveiled in September.

Images: courtesy of Prada; Main image by Juergen Teller