Unless you've been living under a lonely, fashion-deprived rock for the past 24 hours, you'll be well aware that yesterday brought the fruits of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons' supernova Prada partnership to bear for the very first time. You can read our review of their womenswear debut here.
After the presentation, the duo opened up the floor to questions submitted by fans online. The resulting Q&A was a warm affair — a bit like watching two amiable college professors talk shop at a laid-back end of semester tutorial session. At one point, a 10-year-old girl even sought advice on breaking into the fashion industry, which the glass half full side of us wants to believe was not sent in by a shady, somewhat older gentleman from Prada's PR department.
If you missed the talk, you can find it on Instagram. Below, find our five best takeaways.
Uniform and dialogue was a central theme
The idea of uniform and dialogue was central to the debut offering — or as the show notes put it, a "definition, and then a redefinition, of values and ideology, a fundamental examination of the meaning of Prada." Unmistakable Prada women's staples — think of the skirts — sported graphics by long-term Simons friend and collaborator Peter de Potter, with the Belgian revealing that much of his inspiration came from the way Miuccia herself dresses. “It’s not literally two worlds sliding together,” added Raf, alluding to the fact he was behind the steering wheel for this effort. Music was provided by Raf's favorite DJ Richie Hawtin as models walked down a set imagined by long-term Prada collaborators OMA/AMO.
"The thing I have talked most about with Miuccia through all these months was uniforms," he said. "Not uniforms as how we literally perceive them — not an army uniform, police uniform — but true metaphorical ones. I think what we want to say about uniforms is that it’s interesting if you know that you can find something from which you know that you feel good in, and you know that you express what you want to express without it being too much of a very specific fashion item in whatever moment in time. A uniform needs to also express something that is more timeless."
On their personal wares, Raf proudly declared his taste for simplicity, preferring black pants and a shirt, while Miuccia says she likes to go from one uniform to another, but that her last love was a white pleated cotton skirt and a blue sweater.
This is just the beginning
It might sound obvious to say, but if you were expecting fireworks and felt underwhelmed by the show, then it's worth remembering that this was still a collection that came together under the duress of a pandemic. "We had really little time to work together because of coronavirus," said Miuccia, before confirming that Simons started late because of the current situation. There were more than a few knock-out pieces, but it was more solid than spectacular, laying the foundations for what's to come. Next up is menswear in January 2021. We can't wait.
Raf is a Prada stan
Raf, of course, has worked with Miuccia on a professional level before, having entered the world of womenswear at Jil Sander during a tumultuous period when it was owned by the Prada Group. Those aforementioned black pants are by Prada (obv), which he claims to have been wearing for the last 10 years. “I am very specific, and I like a very little amount of brands," he said, in a line that will be of zero surprise to anyone. On what Prada means, he replied: "I’ve always seen Prada as a community that has a very specific attitude, intellect, aesthetic," before following up by saying, “You can’t really answer what it is, but it is, it exists, it’s present, it’s clearly there."
As for his new co-creative gig — confirmed to have come around spontaneously — he answered that, "it never really occurred to me that this could possibly happen."
Miuccia doesn't necessarily care about newness
Perhaps the most Miuccia-being-Miuccia moment came when someone posed a question about the idea of newness in fashion. “It is the nightmare of every designer,” she answered, using typically portentous language. "Or at least, it was always for me. 'New' is not so relevant anymore. In [the time of] Corona, everybody has to express the deep thoughts of a person, of a brand. And so the new just for the sake of doing new, doesn’t sound like the most important work."
It was a viewpoint echoed by Simons, whose familiar industrial touchstones could be easily perceived in the collection. "I think fashion in general hopes always for the new, and as Miuccia said as well, every designer wants to be new," he said. "But I think when you are in it for a long time, let’s say a few decades, it’s important to be able to refresh your own body of work. [...] That pure definition of new for me means it’s something we’ve never seen before. I think it’s a new person coming in. It’s a young new generation coming in. They should bring new."
Raf loves Coke Zero
One of the most endearing things about Raf Simons is that, beyond the preternatural understanding of subculture and galaxy brain art knowledge, well, he's kind of a normal dude. In an interview this year, he revealed his favorite Netflix shows to us, and yesterday, he gleaned that Coke Zero is probably his drink of choice while watching (this after coffee in the morning). As for Miuccia, her a.m. tonic is simply hot water. "My mother told me, first hot water and after, breakfast — apparently it’s very healthy.” Sounds sensible.