Prada returned with another comic-inspired collection at Milan Fashion Week. This time it was focused entirely on women and female empowerment, driving home Muiccia Prada’s stance on gender equality.
Back in June, Prada’s show at Men’s Fashion Week was similar in design. The backdrops were hand drawn images, and the graphic comic designs were created by James Jean (known for his cover art for DC Comics) and Ollie Schrauwen. Prada drew inspiration from comics because they’re “hand-drawn, human, simple and real.”
This time around, Prada took it a step further, choosing eight female comic and manga artists to design her backdrops. These artists include Brigid Elva, Jöelle Jones, Stellar Leuna, Giuliana Maldini, Natsume Ono, Emma Rios, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples. Also included was the work of Tarpé Mills, the first woman to create a female action hero, Miss Fury, back in 1941.
Prada’s newfound obsession is rooted in the idea that we live life in two worlds – both a real and an imaginary (in this case, digital) one. The contrast of having real people walking in an entirely cartoon-like space is pretty cool, and probably something I would be interested in if I had any modelling talent whatsoever.
The clothes themselves mirrored the comic book vibe. Prada was hesitant to use the word ‘masculine’ to describe the collection. In fact, the clothes were a mixture of men’s shirts and housewife-style dresses and skirts (sometimes a strange amalgamation of the two), with the comic designs printed on them. That, accompanied by a series of long jackets and coats, made the collection balanced as a whole. To top it off, the show’s playlist included the likes of Nina Simone and Lana Del Rey (who recently tried to hex Trump, mind you).
Prada’s goal with this collection is clear: “Just wanting to change the world. Especially for women, because there’s so much against us, still.” While Prada’s clothes are able to convey her message on their own, she makes sure it can’t be misunderstood: “Encouragement and strength. Particularly now.”
We’re living in a world where comic books are no longer deemed exclusive to stereotypically nerdy guys who cower behind ‘no girls allowed’ signs on their bedroom doors. With female superheroes like Wonder Woman and Supergirl plastered across our screens right now, the comic theme seems apt for female empowerment.
Keep a look out for Prada’s Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer 2018 collection. You can also check out the full show here.