Jeff Goldblum infused Milan Fashion Week with some levity as he shimmied down the Prada runway in a dark overcoat that cast a dramatic silhouette.The latest menswear collection in the two-year-old collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as co-creative directors was at once elemental and celebratory, presenting elevated versions of everyday pieces.
“We were thinking about meaningful fashion, pieces that make sense,” Prada said in show notes. “Clothes that make people feel important, and that are therefore, in themselves, important, not something to discard.’’
Kyle MacLachlan and Goldblum respectively opened and closed the runway show that featured eight other actors, chosen by the designers to represent “real men, recognized figures,” enhancing reality.
Both wore long overcoats. Goldblum’s was set off dramatically with furry trim, while MacLachlan’s was contrasted with shimmering pants and shirt in light blue. Closing the show, Goldblum emerged hilariously from a purple-lit tunnel, as if surprised to find himself on a runway, then sashayed merrily along.
Guests at the Fondazione Prada’s exhibition space were seated in well-spaced velvet-covered theater seats.
Outerwear and work clothes formed the backbone of the collection, sturdy, durable pieces. Statement pieces like long overcoats were trimmed in technical mohair, thick along the hem, and ringing the upper arms. At times, shoulders were accentuated, and a belt pulled tight at the waist for maximum form.
The designers continued their exploration of the uniform, as the world makes on-again, off-again moves back into the office amid the coronavirus pandemic, proposing elegant, lightweight and nearly formless coveralls in silk tech, leather and cotton.
“They replace the traditional, historical shirt/tie/bow tie, and give a new energy and reality, a younger attitude also,” Simons said.
The designers also gave the collection flashes of color, in orange, yellow and icier hues. Looks were finished with matching colored gloves. Statement earrings were shaped like robots or the new Prada triangular logo. Bags included futuristic triangular shapes or double-cylinder backpacks.
With the pandemic still raging, fashion designers took differing, even opposing, views of the current moment: That we are moving out of the darkness and toward the light — or that it is time to hunker down.
Indian designer Dhruv Kapoor took the former view, in a collection that unites masculine forms with psychedelic designs with the underling message that it is mind over matter.
“I really want to push the power of the mind through this collection,” said Kapoor. “That is what I want, to spread love through the brand.”
“Linear time is an illusion” is embroidered in a burst of pink on a tailored overcoat, a job that takes 20-25 days to complete. Another slogan promotes “parallel worlds,” the notion that we can be in more than one place at a time. Felt hats with thick fringe represent dreadlocks worn by yogis and considered auspicious.
By contrast, Rome-based American designer Justin Gall’s debut Milan runway collection exuded the need for protection, to hunker down and wait it out.
The looks could outfit squads of survivalists caught in a dystopia, with a mashup of puffer jackets, vests and quilted trousers, layered or alternated with faux fur elements. Hoods were cinched tight over dark sunglasses, and pants alternated between heavy-duty leather with utility pockets and light-weight parachute pants.
“A motivation of mine is survival. That is what we are trying to do now,” Gall said backstage.