Going Gingham in Prada

If there is a single jacket that typifies warmer weather — late spring and early summer — it would be Prada’s gingham cotton blouson jacket from the Milanese brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway show. The collection, designed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, was heralded for an airy aloofness that juxtaposed elements that didn’t necessarily make sense when combined. Or, as Simons was quoted as saying: an “anti-logic to the combination of the clothes, an oddness.”

If that’s the case, then the gingham Harrington-style jacket is the exception that makes the rule.

Gingham is a pattern that calls to mind picnics in a park on a warm late spring day or summery evenings dining on the beach as the sun is waning on the horizon. The Harrington jacket, too, is a silhouette one associates with warmer days that have a crispness to them when the wind is blowing, the cloud cover is thick or the sun is about to set.

Originally conceived as a golfing jacket in the ’30s, the style was popularized in the ’50s and ’60s by the likes of Steve McQueen and James Dean. It’s characterized by its modest weight, stand collar with a buttoned flap, front zipper and a short, clean cut. Often, it’s a jacket that’s designed to blend in, rendered in dark navy, black or light tan — the classic palette of drab outerwear.

That’s what makes Prada’s take on it so refreshing, it transforms an understated links garment into a street-ready signature piece infused with the brand’s uniquely luxurious detailing and impeccable craftsmanship.

Available at select Prada boutiques and online. ($3,050)