Prada Spring 2022

Prada Spring 2022

Miuccia Prada’s initial calling was politics [and mime!], so it’s not surprising that when she joined and then started running the family business [that Grandfather Mario Prada had begun], she’d have an alternate vision for the previously leather-focused brand.

Innovative is an oversimplistic term with which to label Prada, but there’s no denying nylon bags were no other fashion house’s idea of the way forward in the early eighties. Prada used this template to become the label to watch like a hawk while other designers adopted a more ostentatious approach.

Today, similar laser-like precision is achieved in jackets and skirts, seemingly owing more to an Asian or Scandinavian minimalist aesthetic than to the stern sexuality of other Italian giants like Gucci Handbags or Versace. For intelligent and alternate-leaning fashion intenditrice, Prada is everything.


Milan Fashion Week

The S/S 2022 offering was a hybrid occasion, video-linked between two co-consecutive shows in Milan and Shanghai – the latter revealing just how important the Asian market is to luxury’s big hitters right now.

Black nylon minis with trailing fabric set the stage for a collection that was themed on subtle louche disentanglement from gender or couture norms.

Black was complemented by glossy tones of cream, green and red, especially in red-box handbags and pointy heels. Oversized appeared in moderation [Raf Simons’ influence?] so that, despite currents of liberation running strong, it was all in the Prada cruise control mode.




This was consolidated by the intentional lack of curves, although very short skirts and open-backed blouses that revealed black belts and lingerie were super sensual. Keeping the reigns on, even as they intentionally unravel, is a smart and provocative move.

For SS 2022 it was all about a deconstruction of excess and sexuality to reveal core components – corsetry, sweaters, minis – that redefined what sexiness is.


While not quite as imposing as louche sensualist Saint Laurent, there were elements [lack of bust placing emphasis on the hips; leather jacket with minis] that seemed inspired by the French brand.

There was also little here to hint at new co-creative director Raf Simons’ darker bohemian influences. Instead Miuccia and co-CEO Patrizio Bertelli continue to run the Prada line straight and true.


Latest Bag Designs

Simplicity and control are equally prevalent in Prada Women's Bags, and these facets were mirrored in the S/S 2022 collection. Most of the pieces there were red, in keeping with a two or three shade colour concept, but it’s the shapes – square and rectangle slims – that highlighted best the crispness that defines the current Prada leaning.

Such does the Prada myth rest on that backpack that it’s easy to ignore how many other great [and leather] bags they produce too. Pick of the current crop would be the Beauletto – a re-issuing of past templates [and this one is nylon] that is also relatively loose and relaxed; originally constructed in the years before Prada went full-on with machine/computer aided construction templates.





Elsewhere, Saffiano leather – a Prada patented first – populates the collection in the Mini Saffiano Leather Clutch Bag and Saffiano Chain Crossbody Bag Black. The Galleria expands the silhouette with robust side vents [that mirror the more expansive practicality of Michael Kors or Burberry Handbags] but by now the overall impression – whether in nylon or leather – should be clear: simplicity and precision make for a provocative choice.


Box shaped blacks don’t equate with conservativism in the way they might with at other labels. As the runway collection illustrated, Prada are paring everything back to the core elements here to make one or two very edgy design statements.





Who Were the Models

Running co-consecutive shows was always going to be interesting, and from a visual perspective – with online viewers and invited guests getting glimpses of both runways – it certainly was. Themes of diversity and inclusion have dominated fashion talk in recent years, and from a Milan angle, models from myriad ethnic backgrounds was a positive, including Shantelle Leslie and even ample Asian representatives like Willow Yang and Chu Wong alongside more famous faces such as Mona Tougaard and Mika Schneider. The show here seemed to lean away from a Eurocentrism that was fully realised in the exclusively Asian models at the Shanghai show. No body diversity was seen, but this matched the super-slim aesthetic and YSL leanings of S/S 22’s intentions.


Stealth-like simplicity in black and plain materials adds up to more than the sum of its parts in Prada’s hands. The S/S 2022 collection was all about using less to show more and fronted a bold sexuality that was a marker for post pandemic dressing. Bags complimented this ideal with little fuss, adding a sharp colour or black support to clothing that didn’t need to be fussy to let you know who’s in charge. 

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