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WHAT Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons promise us every season is an exploration of form – a set of clothes that offer their answer to the question that they have posed. For Prada’s spring-summer 2024 menswear collection, the design duo approached the idea of fluidity and its connotations when it comes to the human body. Their answer was to strip it back, bringing the body a release of freedom even within clothes.

Starting with the shirt, Prada and Simons choose to depart from the notion of it being the centre point of looks whilst simultaneously taking direct influence from its structure and detailing and bringing it into the construction of raincoats, suits, sportswear and reporter jackets.

This paradox is what the pair thrive in discovering, picking apart the grey area of two juxtaposing ideas, or even fundamentals of fashion. Uncovering the duality of the relationship between silhouette and materiality, SS24 proposes the ‘ultimate awareness of the body within’.

Relying on traditional tailoring to emphasise the body, and material choice to highlight fluidity, everything started with reverting back to ensure that what they were creating felt as easy and classic as a shirt.

Borrowing silhouettes tied with past classic Prada looks, internal structures were forgotten about leaving fragility to pieces like cotton poplin jackets that were tucked in, and high-waisted shorts that cinched male waists were added to the brand’s repertoire.

Despite falling into the rabbit hole of flexible hybridity, Prada and Simons stayed true to their clean-cut utilitarian aesthetic that they have moulded together. Within the flashes of floral prints and embroidered fringing, there was a move away from their tie to functionality as pockets were added for the purpose of decoration rather than for the wearer’s mundane use.

While Prada and Simons may have posed and answered their own question, it is nice to see a different approach to the idea of fluidity in fashion. Too often words are flung around, slowly losing their meaning, but Prada’s SS24 collection was a nice journey back to the foundations of its definition in a more literal sense.

If you can find freedom within the restraints of clothes then you have the ultimate power to see past form and silhouette, turning the grey area into your own black-and-white answer.

by Imogen Clark


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