For Miuccia Prada, one of fashion’s most intellectual designers, feminism has never been a buzzword used to sell clothes. Instead, it is a supporting pillar of the Prada and Miu Miu platform, one that sees unfailing support for women as tantamount to gospel. For Spring/Summer 2018, feminism was the metaphoric flag that unfurled over the Prada collection – from the hallway decorated with incredible graphic art made exclusively by women to a runway scrubbed free of “Insta-famous” models and replaced by a diverse cast from all over the world.
Then there were the clothes, which themselves seemed to ask, “Why can’t I have all the things that men have and wear all the things that men wear, but on my own terms, made in my own image?” That’s why the reworked menswear ideas were so integral to the presentation – and so was the “rude boy” styling borrowed from UK and Jamaican street culture, for that matter. The collection believes that women are tired of playing a role forced on them by society, a role that is limiting in its expression of the female psyche, that reduces women to mothers and wives, but never lets them be warriors. Instead of following a Game of Thrones path toward creating a fierce female identity like so many other brands in seasons past, Prada focused on giving women clothes that were quirky, eccentric, and bursting with personality.
If punk is refusing the systems that organize our world into tidy compartments, then this collection is punk. It roughs up reliable wardrobe staples, like trench coats, and makes them seem like the new uniform of the disillusioned. We loved the way Prada’s outerwear looked as if an inky spill hadn’t quite completed its task of total surface saturation – a nod to the comic book elements that informed the scene. Knee-high socks, walking shorts, and rubber footwear were other elements of the uniform, and they looked amazing when embellished or stitched with intricate graphic patterns.
Prada’s “rude girl” is not attempting to be polite or please the masses or occupy a narrow societal role.
Prada’s “rude girl” is not attempting to be polite or please the masses or occupy a narrow societal role. Her shirts are worn backwards and decorated with cartoon bad girls, her rain slicker is as glossy as a ladybug, and she’s never turned down the chance to top all of it off with a brocade bustier. She’s more ready with a sneer than a smile and she asks for forgiveness rather than permission, but you want to be her friend anyway because, clearly, she’s someone who doesn’t care one whit one anyone else thinks about her. And that, my friends, is magnetic.