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Show Report

Show Report: Prada A/W 17 Menswear

by Lucy Norris on 17 January 2017

Lucy Norris reports on the Prada A/W 17 menswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Prada A/W 17 menswear show.

The first look exited onto the runway. A mixed race male model was wearing a pair of corduroy slacks and a vaguely retro, vaguely timeless, collegiate get up. One word popped into my mind: Barry. 

As the US president prepares to leave office in a few days time, Barry, a biopic film, released this December, is based around Barack Obama's life as a student at Columbia University. Could this collection be a timely ode to political upstarts? As the collection delved into an academic world of seventies liberalism, the shells worn around the necks reminded one of Obama's Hawaiian roots - and 1979 being the year he arrived to California.

Backstage, when I mention to Mrs Prada about the first look, the aforesaid film - and Barack Obama's student years - she says: 'Ah, It’s true! Yes. The collection is a lot about students, political students.'

No doubt about so much more, this collection also called to mind 'right on' Yale grads protesting against the Vietnam War - and the likes of Barbara Streisand 's character, Katie, from the 1973 film The Way We Were. Streisand's character Katie campaigned college campuses on behalf of The Communist Party - remind you of anyone? Not only did Miuccia Prada study for a Political Science PhD, she was also once a member of The Communist Party. 

The male models mostly had Katie's curly locks - now that's gender bending for you. Besides a hefty dose of patch-pocket leather and corduroy, there were also lots of fluffy mohair knits for both men and women. 

A check in on the Prada Instagram, and the label has been posting captions like 'The revolution starts at home' and 'Domestic Bliss'. This might account for the neatly made beds and toothpaste blue bathroom tiles, which lined the catwalk. There was a noir-ish element to the proposed notion. A Prada twist. Not all domestic settings are of course blissful, and surely the most 'home' based of revolutions is feminism. Pretty subversive stuff for a men's show - but then feminism for men could be what these young hippy intellects are fighting for. 

As the models held document holders and briefcases under their arms, one couldn't help but wonder what essay, debating club motion or sketched out manifesto lay inside. If it was a summary for this collection, some hurried notes might simply read: 'Very Brown, Very Prada.'

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