Thursday 19th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Prada: Ready-To-Wear SS20

It was ultra-Prada, the essence of the house distilled, extracted and served to a new generation. Bourgeois elegance subverted by wilful eccentricity for the purpose of making something new. 

Mrs Prada knows about desire. She has the ability to make you want things you thought you hated. Cheesecloth! That relic of 1960s Bohemia will be the fabric of SS20. She used it for gauzy midi skirts and tiered dresses worn with tailored 1970s blazers and clunky loafers. 

Pushing taste, testing it’s extremes seeing where the boundaries are and hinting at what lies beyond has always been a Prada predilection but this collection was stripped of gimmick – no Frankenstein monsters here. Instead, Prada honed in on ideas that are pure Prada signatures. Geometric patterned knits in seventies colour ways, clunky loafers and refined crocodile lady bags. The recurring motif was an embroidered fern leaf snaking tomato red jersey coats and adorning drop waist dresses. Cloche hats hinted at the 1920s. Patch pocket jackets nodded to the 1970s but none of it looked retro. 

The main reference point seemed to be Mrs Prada’s incredible archive of ideas. It looked pared back and represented the essence of Prada. 24-carat Prada as opposed to 18. Prada had a reason for producing a collection that transcended trends and played to her own idiosyncratic classics: Politics. This is Prada so the sentiment is never going to be vanilla. Backstage she said this was anti-waste, a collection of forever pieces that can stay in your wardrobe for a long, long time. These were pieces that demanded respect and love. Wearable – over and over as opposed to just once for an Instagram pic. To have and to hold on to. 

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans