At its recent Milan fashion week show, Prada revealed a merging of the outdoors with officewear in its menswear autumn/winter 2024 collection. Co-designed with Raf Simons, Mrs Prada explained, ‘The changing of seasons enables human beings to continue to look at the world with fresh eyes.’
The creative duo explored the juxtaposition between humankind and the natural environment – ‘renewal and change’. The show took place in a dystopian office space furnished with grey carpet, immaculate computer stations and “Prada” logo screensavers. Guests entered into a living, albeit encapsulated, natural landscape, where a leafy meadow and a steady stream of water appeared under a glass floor. On its surface, rows of office swivel chairs flanked the catwalk. The effect was utterly mesmerising yet menacing, as the Italian creative director noted: ‘What is scary is the nature that you can’t touch through the glass.’
The show opened with a “Pradissima” revisitation of corporate formalwear: knitted swimming caps were teamed with ultra-slim suit trousers and slightly wonky blazers. The ubiquitous silk ties – also used as the show invitation – suggested a ‘return to order’ immediately broken up by slippers in woven leather. The juxtaposition illustrates the dichotomy between ‘office and nature, inside and out, the instinctive change of people shifting between these opposite spheres’, added Simons. The heavy outerwear in the second part of the show suggests the urge to escape the synthetic human-made environment: oversized double-breasted sailor coats fabricated from worn-out leather. Function and protection from the increasingly unpredictable weather are present in the form of hermetically zipped-up grey trench coats paired with goggle-like eyewear and über-practical backpacks. Meanwhile, the knitwear embraces colours from Mrs Prada’s favourite palette: cardigans, turtlenecks and knitted joggers come in acid green, bright purple and canary yellow.