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“I don’t see it as me, or as Prada,” co-creative director Raf Simons explained on the eve of the Prada autumn/winter 21 womenswear show. His words were in response to on-going debates over the balance between perceived Raf-isms and Miu-isms within this new, unprecedented era of the Milan-based luxury house. Each look from the first few collections has been analysed and fans of both fashion icons have laid claim to a silhouette, a technique or styling trick. “It’s two things coming together,” he continued in summary, “but what we do is Prada, because it is at Prada.” This is Prada, new Prada.
It’s not a coincidence that their debut women’s collection, unveiled in September, was called Dialogues. As that collection marked a bringing together of worlds — a discussion between archives and a dialogue of aesthetics — their autumn/winter 21 collection teased the tensions of juxtaposition and difference. “A fusion between disparate themes and intents,” as the show notes explained. “This collection explores the space that exists between conventional polar opposites — the point between simplicity and complexity, elegance and practicality, limitation and release,” they continued. Prada is a conversation in both words and cloth. Beyond the catwalk and shopfloor, it’s a conversation that has largely played out digitally since they officially began collaborating in April last year.. The global pandemic has meant the first year of this industry-changing partnership has played out on Zoom and video calls. Oh, if only we could secretly watch their studio conversations.
“Fashion has become pop, with winners now the ones that scream hardest, not the ones that speak most intelligently,” Raf warned, earlier this year during a tête-à-tête with Miuccia, with the resulting conversation published by The New York Times. Neither Raf nor Miuccia are screamers, but together at Prada, with their combined intelligence amplified, they are demonstrating a powerful antidote. Indeed, the autumn/winter 21 collection itself was inspired by were inspired by “the idea of change and transformation, of opening possibilities”. With this in mind, as new season pieces land in-store, the LN-CC team invite you to play Pick N Mix with a few of our favourite items.