Prada Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
Miuccia Prada has hardly done her male clientele a service by showing her Spring collection for men alongside her Resort collection for women. “Women beat men to zero,” she conceded cheerfully after her latest exercise in a catwalk marriage of the genders. But, with this show at least, Mrs. P. added some perverse new shadings to the relationship between men and women in her universe.
We take it for granted that women rule. Here, there was scrupulous attention paid to the details of their presentation, the cat-eye makeup and kitten heel with a sock instantly transporting us back to Chicklette and Concetta, John Waters’ icons of bad-girl defiance from his 1974 work of genius, Female Trouble. These troublemakers have made their presence felt in Miuccia’s world more than once. Today, the niceties of their early-’60s wardrobe—skirts pleated and pencil, sweaters second-skin and striped, mini shifts a-go-go—were extravagantly translated in leather and snakeskin. Gorgeous coats covered in paillettes, a waiting list candidate if ever there was one, suggested that a life of crime pays plenty well. But—here’s where it got really perverse—these women were cast as almost maternal in comparison to the boys that Prada paraded.
In their topstitched shorts and little zipped mock turtles and shirts part-tucked in, the boys were kids in a hurry. They had racing cars and rocket ships and Energizer Bunnies on their sweaters, a different kind of go-go from the girls. Mrs. Prada insisted she has never liked the notion of expressing an idea on a shirt. Symbols make her nervous. So she deliberately opted for the innocent iconography of boyhood. Except there is never really innocence with Prada, a point she reinforced by using the same racing cars and rocket ships on her womenswear. There was a very Big Brother eye here. You are being watched. There are no secrets. For that matter, cutting a boy’s short shorts out of leather also underscored the impossibility of innocence.
Regular visitors to Style.com know the pleasure we derive from analyzing the very particular food and drink Prada serves at every show. Today’s ice lollies and whipped Pecorino suggested seaside family treats. The Negronis, on the other hand, were boozy adulthood. All Miuccia Prada has to do is put it out there. Now you make as much of it as you will.