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Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada Make Civil Discourse Look Lovely

  • September 24, 2020

Working from the bottom up, they sent out first a series of basics: shell tops that brushed the thighs and matching narrow trousers, clutch coats that circled the body like a hug, made from upcycled nylon (they call it re-nylon; it’s one of Prada’s sustainability initiatives) in black-and-white, shell pink and magenta, polka dots and tiny poesies, to create a pseudo-uniform for the modern age. All of it was branded with an oversize Prada logo triangle at the neck like a stamp of identity.

From there, they built, adding layers of knits and undershirts with polka dots punched into moth holes; full 1950s skirts with utilitarian luggage belts nipping in the waist; sweatshirts and egg-shaped trenches that nodded to both couture and technology. Prints, made by the artist Peter De Potter, referenced both exotic blooms and what looked like packing instructions. Sleeveless satin shifts came with three-dimensional roses sprinkled on top (very fancy polka dots).

It wasn’t quite a return to first principles; more like a renegotiation. One done with great harmony.

The collection was called “Dialogues,” and it was all that. At a time when the world is divided by shouted non-debate, and civil discourse feels like a memory of long ago, Mr. Simons and Mrs. Prada provided proof both of its power and its value as a means of renewal.

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