Prada and Max Mara back to pre-pandemic splendor in Milan
MILAN (AP) — The pre-pandemic fashion frenzy is back.
After several quiet COVID-induced seasons, Milan Fashion Week has returned to its pre-pandemic glory: with packed seats, crowded streets and sidewalks packed with fashion fans wanting a glimpse of stars and influencers.
After much pandemic talk about how the fashion system needed to change — that is, slow down — few people could resist returning to the world as they knew it. This week’s fashion shows will close with the return of another Milanese tradition: the Green Carpet Awards to reward advances in sustainable development.
Here are some highlights from Thursday’s runway shows on the second day of Milan Fashion Week, which are mostly womenswear previews for upcoming spring and summer.
PRADA EXPLORES RAW SILK
The latest collection from Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons explores the space between minimalism and decorations, with clean silhouettes and transparent materials.
The collection begins with slightly cropped form-fitting bodysuits crafted from poplin shirts, in industrial colors like gray and ivory. We wear them under square jackets and longer opera coats, then finally, a loose dress in raw silk and pretty lace details, evoking a nightgown.
“The clothes are about simplicity, without unnecessary complication,” Prada said in the show notes. “Politically, theoretically, aesthetically, we are constantly drawn to these notions. The idea of the franchise.”
The silhouette was simple. The dresses wrap around the body, as casually as a towel after a shower. Sheer fabric overcoats gave the impression of lightness. Naive applique flowers decorate handbags and jackets, sometimes holding in place a trailing tail of fabric.
Even with the feminine touches, androgyny underlined the collection, especially in the Prada uniform looks: jumpsuits, skinny pants and jackets. Shoes were Mary Janes or rolled-toe loafers. Bags for the season included the Prada inverted triangle handbag and large shopper in contrasting pink or lime.
”More than any other collection, this one is filled with different views. There is a mirror of cinema in the collection, of witnessing fragments of a larger whole,” Simons said.
MAX MARA IS LOST IN HIS THOUGHTS
The Max Mara silhouette for next season evokes feminine modernity, with voluminous sailor pants and skirts that flirt from a tight fit at the hip to a cascading torrent of rustling movement. Volumes – evident also in boxy jackets and oversized coats – are balanced by halters and cropped tops.
Creative director Ian Griffiths said he was inspired by female intellectuals of the 1930s on the French Riviera, citing Renee Perle, the muse and lover of photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue, and architect Eileen Gray. There’s a deliberate androgyny to the collection, with David Bowie in baggy 1980s trousers appearing on Griffith’s mood board.
These are looks that invite contemplation, while offering unrestrained movement for a woman eager for intellectual pursuits.
Max Mara presented a neutral color for next season, in raw linen that can range from gray to khaki, which was highlighted by soothing, washed-out shades of yellow, green and blue, creating a harmonious trio in a combo loose overcoat over swimsuit, finished with a knit swim cap.
The bags are big enough for a weekend getaway. The shoes are platform sandals. And the hats have oversized brims.