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Show Report

Show Report: Prada S/S 18 Womenswear

by Lou Stoppard on 21 September 2017

Lou Stoppard reports on the Prada S/S 18 womenswear collection.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Prada S/S 18 womenswear collection.

Miuccia Prada has become the unofficial costumer of the current anti-patriarchy resistance. She’s always been a political designer, but this specific current chapter arguably began for Autumn/Winter 2015, when she showed twenty womenswear looks as part of her menswear collection and, broke her usual show note fatwa with a card telling us that this was an 'analysis of the relationship between men and women'. She asked, 'What are the unexpected possibilities, the various relationships, that may occur between the way men and women can or would dress? The way they represent themselves?'

Prada S/S 18 Womenswear Collection.

Since then, a fair few of her collections have been dubbed direct feminist manifestos. There were certainly lots of women celebrated at today’s show. The graphic artists who’s work decorated the show space were all female, and their artworks showed women both kicking ass and looking down at us in horror and disdain - fighting the daily struggle against bullshit, one of the 'perks' of being a woman. The soundtrack also paid tribute to some great female artists - Lana Del Rey, Sinead O'Connor, Suzanne Vega (whose Tom's Diner, a tune about a daily commute at a New York restaurant, set the tone of real life and street pounding that ran through this collection). This was a tribute to weird women. Damaged women. Angry women. It was about women on the go, women fighting back. Many of the looks suggested the customised thrift store garb of young female activists of past eras - the coats with sleeves cut off, or the layers of clashing garments and clashing prints. The latter had a retro feel - leopard and zebra dominated. Studs added to the punky, irreverent mood. One sweater came with a glitchy tarantula motif - yes, fashion is a scary place right now.

One jacket featured a line of text on the back - 'Come on in.' You could read it as an invitation from Prada. Welcome, young women, says Mrs Prada, I’m standing with you. Towards the end of the show, O'Connor’s Nothing Compares To You played. It’s true - Mrs Prada still stands alone.

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