A lot has changed since the last Prada menswear show, in June of 2022. Most recently, Raf Simons — who now co-designs with Miuccia Prada — announced he was shuttering his eponymous brand. Judging by the Prada Fall-Winter 2023/2024 collection, which felt to be more in his style than Miuccia’s, Simons is now set to exert more influence on the collections at Prada.
This collection felt like more than a personal statement, though. With brown shirt and tie ensembles and a range of military-inspired outerwear — slim officer’s coats, peacoats, parkas, flight jackets and voluminous bombers, all sure to be a hit, sartorially, come the end of the year — it was hard not to infer thinly veiled commentary on the return of fascist politics and discourse, in a country where a right-wing party with ties to Mussolini was voted into power less than six months ago.
And yet with all the change, one thing has remained constant since Simons joined Prada: the clothes have been really good. Joining in on the necktie renaissance, the Prada show opened with a pair of trompe l’oeil looks: a boxy suit with a cardigan underneath, worn unbuttoned and finished with an oversized, contrast shirt collar. As the models walked down the runway, it gave the impression that they were wearing light beige ties — in reality, it was their bare chests. The oversized collars and cardigans featured throughout the collection, as did contrasting, colourful trim, with panelling on coats, pairs of bright red or green trousers, and white zippers on overcoats and tailoring alike.
Always a strength at Prada, the bag of choice from the collection was a briefcase silhouette that included a water bottle compartment, rendered in classic leather options, but also one that mimicked the metallic facades of industrial, brutalist architecture.