Italian powerhouse Prada has been on a roll in recent years. Co-helmed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the luxury brand has experienced unprecedented commercial success and presented exquisite collections that re-examine traditional fashion conventions. Prada’s Spring Summer 2024 collection didn’t stray far from this ethos, reevaluating menswear codes and introducing a youthful, relaxed take on tailoring.
Aptly titled “Fluid Forms,” the collection opened up with several reiterations of the inaugural look. At the beat of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” models walked down the runway in shirts and jackets tucked into five-inch tailored shorts, topped off by mid-calf socks and toe-squared slip shoes. The silhouette juxtaposed large, oversized shoulders with tiny waists and reprised uniform dressing — a recurrent theme in every Prada runway.
Co-creative directors Prada and Simons stated backstage that the classic shirt was the starting point of their latest effort. As such, the collection focused on transferring qualities like lightness and comfort — often associated with shirting — to other menswear pieces. Yet, there was plenty of room for the creatives to introduce novelty and toy with notions of masculinity.
Matched with denim and shirts, or placed atop large coats, fishing vests were reinvented for everyday use. The runway then introduced patterned shirts, some adorned with tassels and some others flaunting origami-esque floral appliques on top of their pockets — in what appeared to be an attempt to soften a clothing element often criticized for perpetuating unnecessary gendered codes.
Photos courtesy of Prada
As per a tradition of the Italian brand, colors remained sober. Over half of the looks were predominantly black, blue marine, or gray. There were, of course, occasional pops of color with lilac, red and green pieces scattered throughout the collection. The color palette also included pastels and stints of brown.
For Prada, reevaluating conventions doesn’t only apply to the catwalks. In smart communication moves, the brand has pioneered the art of curating front rows filled with A-listers’ power. Prada has, in particular, leveraged the names of Asian stars, friends, and ambassadors of the house.
On this occasion, stars such as Troye Sivan, Louis Partridge, and Li Xian took in the show from the front row. The spotlight, however, focused on Prada’s ambassadors: Japanese actor Kentaro Sakaguchi, and South Korean stars Kim Taeri and Jeong Jaehyun. The Asian icons graced the deposito of Fondazione Prada — where the event took place — with their presence, donning their best Prada looks and attracting the attention of the media and other attendants.
But the event also tapped into the power of Asian stars online. Remotely, brand ambassadors Win Metawin and Enhypen also raised anticipation for the fashion show. Thai darling Win Metawin, clad in a gray suit, shared a video on social media, while the K-pop group Enhypen, recently appointed Prada’s ambassadors, dedicated three Instagram posts to promote the event.
Another Prada Slay
This menswear fashion season, several brands have focused on revisiting notions of masculinity. While reconfiguring menswear and updating house codes has been a priority for designers, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada’s take on menswear is rather practical — sprinkled with retro throwbacks, but forward-looking in its own accord. “Fluid Forms” mixes traditionally masculine garment construction with softer fabrics, textures, and colors, bestowing menswear classics with the unconventional edge Prada is recognized for.
But Prada is not the only fashion brand aiming to challenge stereotypes of masculinity. Read everything about the return of Valentino menswear-focused shows here.