Monday 14th January

| BY Richard Gray

Prada: Menswear AW19

Mrs Prada’s work sits at the intermix of gender, politics and policy. It’s an all-incorporating “mood board”, which is more socio-political than “aesthetically pleasing”. But her work is also aesthetically pleasing.
She takes a temperature check, sits back and thinks. “You have to embrace the world if you want to live in it now.” She has said. Her conclusions are then folded into this with a mix of kitsch and art (all kinds), a historical reference and always “the surprising”. This informs the show and clothes, the bag, that hat and knitwear grouping for the season ahead.

Backstage Prada explained her current census check for AW19 as a rally against “the nastiness of the world.” She talked of the “monsters” and how we should be “protecting” ourselves against them. She didn’t need to talk of Trump. In Mary Shelley’s monster horror novel Frankenstein, something Prada cited as a major inspiration, the 8ft grotesque declares to his creator “I ought to be thy Adam”. He’s the twisted mirror of his creator. Of man. Prada’s kitsch take on the motifs of the book were silly and fun. Fun-fur epaulettes on bright yellow cable knits and a green cardi. The boxy shirts – best-selling garments in the Prada wardrobe – came with green and black abstract prints of a monster’s face, with comic monster hands and lightening bolts; a rose print was a symbol of what Prada called “the monster’s search for love”. Were the dark suits with kicky, wider wool trousers, and worn with two belts, a reference of those worn by the creative liberal’s favourite monster: the male politician? Or perhaps the corporate CEO?

The designer garnered a collective LOL when she played The Adams family theme tune. The runway music veered between that and sombre and then… ‘Timewarp’ – camp disco go-to from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. More monster-themed clothes and accessories: lace-up and classic shoes had monster soles, which reached up and around to cocoon the upper. Very Stomp-y. The models (they weren’t monsters) carried all kinds of mini bags or a boxy rucksack; comedy-coloured specs spoke of a mad professor. Be more #pradamonstermen.

Photography by Jason Lloyd-Evans.