For Prada Menswear Fall Winter 2023, function becomes the carriage for a new kind of elegance where clothing is stripped back to its core purpose. This return to minimalism – a nod to late ’90s-era, early ’00s era Prada – continues the ongoing questioning that underpins nearly every collection from La Signora Miuccia Prada: how the function of clothing shifts in the context of wearing them.
Prada has a particular technique of reworking that is key to understanding Sig.Ra Prada and her approach to fashion – each iteration investigates itself. The opening looks of Prada Fall Winter 2023 immediately set the stage for this mimetic approach: tailoring worn with detachable pointed-collars rather than shirts where the variations appeared at detail-level, from colour to button. The message stays the same, yet changes by the personality of the messenger.
This pattern appeared throughout the show: puffer jackets made even puffier by the slim-fit trousers they were styled with that played with the volumes of couture versus the sharpness of tailoring. And again with kaleidoscopic run of cardigans with the same detachable collars reflecting the tailored earlier looks. Wash, rinse, repeat but never quite the same.
Is there an answer to the potentially unanswerable question of just how the function of clothing shifts in the context of wearing them? Perhaps that’s the point that both Simons and Prada are making – the answer is in the execution.
This amalgamation of visions is the area Sig.ra Prada and Raf Simons work best. Since the collaboration begun, the balance between the two has become sharper, more cohesive and while the occasional swing or another way can occur, it’s done with the right amount of restraint.
With the pending departure of Sig.ra Prada as CEO of the company, how this balance will be maintained in future collections remains to be seen. Simons himself has already closed his own eponymous label, suggesting his focus now lay solely with the Italian house.