Scary scores, goopy runways, creepy skullcaps... Prada Spring/Summer 2024 would seem like the stuff of horror movies if it wasn't so darn beautiful.
After an IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION, it ended on a SENTIMENTAL and TOUCHING note. Just another reason to fall in love with Prada.
This year, Prada topped the list of hottest brands, according to the Lyst Index. The number two spot was occupied by Miu Miu. It’s Miuccia’s world, and we’re just living in it. (Well, in the case of Prada, it’s Miuccia and Raf’s world.) Prada is dominating, and other brands are paying attention. Take Joseph Altuzarra’s show at New York Fashion Week this season. It was an homage to Miuccia, which meant the clothes looked like her creations, which was odd given that this copy + paste tribute was done by someone, um, not her.
I’m here for the Pradafication of fashion. I’ve been around long enough to remember when Prada was faltering because it was so late to the social media game. It was a painful time for devotees because we knew all along that this was one of modern fashion’s most important and influential brands. We just needed the rest of the world to catch up. Fortunately, the days that Prada fell behind are long gone. Now, it leads the pack.
At Spring/Summer 2024, a horde of celebrities gathered in a muted pink room inside the Fondazione Prada. The set’s simplicity belied what was to come. As Bernard Herrmann’s theme for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo thundered from speakers, sheets of translucent pink slime started sliding out of the ceiling and pooling on grates on the floor (silvery slime was used at the Prada men's show in June. Womenswear at the brand is always braided together with men's both in reference and aesthetic). The combination of score and slime made me think of Raf’s love of horror movies — an element often referenced in his work. He scored his Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2011 show with Herrmann’s Psycho theme and has touched on both slashers and cult horror films throughout his career. But at Prada Spring/Summer 2024, his Hitchcockian heroines were no damsels in distress.
It’s so interesting to witness two powerhouse designers learn to dance with one another, proverbially speaking. Early days of their union saw the two often in (literal) dialogue, which tells me they were learning each other’s language and how the other thinks. Now, there is a comfort level that truly brings an equal blend of both talents together. I can see Miuccia and Raf in each collection, sometimes in the same look, sometimes trading off ideas. It takes a lot of graciousness to arrive at this moment. In this collection, I saw Raf clearly in the ghostly, gauzy, ephemeral dresses (that Prada describes as ‘Haze’ dresses made from superfine organza and gazar). They were so reminiscent of his Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2008 collection. I saw Miuccia in the pairings of thick, masculine jackets worn with dainty fringed dresses and in the soft knits stamped with silver eyelets. Their fingerprints could be felt in looks that combined sturdy wool and “fragments of dresses” — a.k.a. gauzy lengths of fabric wrapped around the shoulders like capes or cut into skirts.
There were so many cool pieces to gawk at, so many things to add to the wish list of looks to shoot editorially, so many validations that Prada is the brand of the moment. I loved the glittering fringes dripping from belts, the fringed collar of Look 17, the slashed printed shirts, the boxy blazers, and those pouchy, pocketed leather separates. I was also kind of relieved to see a distinct lack of triangle logos.
Finally, after all the slime and insouciant Prada-ness of it all, Raf and Miuccia emerged in front of a cheering crowd, bringing with them Fabio Zambernardi, Prada’s Design Director who is leaving the brand after 40 years. He deserved his moment in the spotlight. When he emerged, the crowd cheered even louder. After an impressive collection, it ended on a sentimental and touching note. Just another reason to fall in love with Prada.