Last night I went to bed with an excitement that I haven’t felt for a long time. For the past few months, the fashion industry has undergone an immense amount of change as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic (and let’s be real, so has every single industry) and we’ve had to see what once was an industry based public interactions and display, adapt to a digital climate where collections are viewed from the comfort of our homes. For most of us in the industry, fashion has felt boring and exhausting with no light and the end of the tunnel – until it was revealed that Raf Simons would be joining Miuccia Prada as co-creative director at Prada. And today, their first collection was debuted.
I set an alarm on my phone and my laptop to make sure that I’d be ready to tune in to watch the collection, feeling slightly nervous about the fact that I had no idea what to expect. Raf Simons has had an impressive career since the beginning, taking on brands like Jil Sander, Dior and Calvin Klein, where his collections have seen huge success, but would he be able to replicate his flawless track record at Prada? The whole fashion community were holding their breaths, praying that the show would bring back some of the long lost excitement we’ve been missing. Then, show started, and the collection was unveiled.
Marrying Prada’s signature house codes with Simons’ unique design cues, the Spring/Summer 2021 range brought back some of the edgy Miuccia that we remember from the archives. The first thing I noticed about the show was the impeccable lineup of footwear, which prominently featured sharp and elongated kitten heels in both black-and-white, as well as pastel hues. Then came the coats which models paraded down the runway in, grasping the oversized against their chests, as well as the uniform-inspired looks that Miuccia and Raf spoke about in the Q&A session post-show. Of course, Prada’s iconic logo was also on display, and had been reinterpreted into large appliqués that featured throughout the range.
The layering, the textures and the silhouettes came together to create the perfect blend of two very influential designers, without feeling forced. It became obvious that it had been a collaborative process, and despite the restrictions and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the two managed to perfectly kick off their partnership with a collection that wasn’t over-the-top or life-changing, but a collection that was just incredibly good. The set for the show featured big displays with the names of each model walking in the show, each of them completely new to the industry, having never walked a show before. It was also their debut, alongside Raf and Miuccia.
The high expectations that surrounded their debut as a design-duo undoubtedly opened the door for an immense amount of criticism, as fans of both designers all tuned in to watch the reveal. Not everyone ended up head-over-heels, and that’s okay because at the end of the day fashion is judged from the eye of the beholder, but I will die on this hill. Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada absolutely nailed their debut, and you’ll see me in pointy kitten heels and Prada logo pieces, firmly grasping my coat all throughout the Spring/Summer 2021 season. Plus, now that I know that Raf Simons kicks off his day with coffee and proceeds to drink Coke Zero for the rest of the day, I am a bigger fan than ever.