Prada's Fall/Winter 2021 Collection is An Anthology of Change
Text: Ayesha Le Breton
"The only constant in life is change," said Heraclitus, an Ancient Greek philosopher. Unprecedented shifts have shaken many and forced a new vanguard in the fashion industry, as change seems to be the only sure thing in life right now. Many in the fashion industry have opted to embrace this reality, where previously established boundaries figured too confining and conformist.
Following their debut collection as co-creative directors, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons remain a-tuned to their re-examination of the brand's heritage as they step away from gendered garments with bold prints and colorful layering.
Familiar fabrics are re-worked to transgress boundaries of convention. There's an emphasis on the body, with fitted bodysuits in stretch jacquard knit that create the illusion of exposed skin, a mirror to the movement activity and action. Tailored traditionalist suits translate into an image of physical ease and freedom as vents allow unconstrained glimpses of the body.
Center stage, the ornate becomes functional, we see evening gowns transformed into utilitarian jumpsuits and clean-cut coats shimmer through brightly colored sequins, mutating between polar opposite purposes. New forms of outerwear are born out of re-engineered silhouettes, arriving in re-nylon, faux fur, jacquard, and paillettes.
Models move between a multi-textural environment, filled with faux fur and marble, amidst an original soundscape created by Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman. These contrasting backdrops are a visual representation challenging the disparities between purpose and intention.
After the events, the materials used in the set of both the men and women FW21 shows will find new a joie de vie through special product pop-ups and installations around the world. Afterward, they will be donated to Meta, a Milan-based circular economy project - one of their efforts works in collaboration with La Réserve des arts to collect and recover raw materials and decoration waste from fashion shows, passing them on to professionals and students in the cultural sector.
Following the Prada FW21 livestream, the duo presented Prada Intersections, a virtual conversation moderated by fashion aficionado Derek Blasberg around the collection from a multidisciplinary perspective while exploring today’s challenges in fashion and creativity. Involved in answering audience questions and offering advice were actress and artist Hunter Schafer, Academy Award® nominated filmmaker as well as a director, writer, and producer Lee Daniels, electronic musician and DJ Plastikman, Marc Jacobs, architect and writer Rem Koolhaa.
Prada FW21 is an insightful exploration of the season's transformation and burgeoning possibilities.