Scene setting: A labyrinthine, neon-lit landscape formed the backdrop to Prada’s S/S 2020 menswear show, held for the very first time outside Milan, at Minsheng Art Wharf, in the East Bund district of Shanghai. Here, the label’s regular collaborators OMA, who in recent seasons have created uncanny sets alluding to scientific experiments in gothic fiction and others resembling city blueprints lined with Sixties Verner Panton inflatable stools, created a phantasmagoric show set in Prada’s familiar neon and murky pastel hues, inside the art museums’ Silo Hall. An industrial spiral staircase was illuminated by a circular light installation festooned with glimmering Prada motifs, the catwalk flashed with red lasers, and walkways were lined with gunge green plastic curtains.
Mood board: The collection had a boundless boyscout optimism. Anoraks were pocketed and colour blocked, beige shorts skimmed the knees and colourful nylon knapsacks were strapped to waist bands. As with the label’s Resort collection, shown last month at the brand’s West 52nd Street Piano Factory headquarters in Manhattan, Miuccia Prada was interested in subtly transgressive qualities - the conservative appearing rebellious, the young, sophisticated. Vests were cut to mini dress length in pastel pinks and pyjama stripes, cagoules layered with city slicker shirts and bolo ties, polo shirts were enlarged in macro volumes. The mood was positive, colourful and buoyant.
Finishing touches: We’ve become obsessed with technology. Our smartphones barely leave our sight. Prada riffed on this fetish with lo-fi outdated tech prints of colourful cassette tapes and video cameras. Today these devices are no longer needed, simply symbols of the past. The label has riffed on its logo in recent seasons. Its idiosyncratic graphic red stripe logo features in the brand’s relaunched Linea Rossa sports line. For S/S 2020, the brand imagined retro takes on the Prada logo, imagined as it may have been in the past.
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