“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”.
William Shakespeare managed to encapsulate a part of the human experience in this metaphor that has become so famous.
With the FW22 Menswear by Prada presented yesterday afternoon at the Prada Foundation Depot in Milan, the Italian fashion house has staged, exactly ten years later, a new fashion show that has seen among the models who have brought on the catwalk this new collection designed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, 10 Hollywood actors as it happened for the FW12.
To fully understand the similarities but above all the differences and try to connect the dots that unite the Prada FW12 and FW22 shows, we need to take a leap back in time and go back to that very January of 2012 when some of the actors who over time have become iconic faces of the brand walked the runway among the models.
It is clear that Miuccia and Raf Simons have taken their cue from the show of 10 years ago but have overturned the concepts, as in a sort of historical realignment based on the circumstantial elements that are determining our society and our everyday life.
If with the fashion show of January 2012 Prada wanted to represent the power (and the man of power) played by actors of the caliber of Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Tim Roth and Gary Oldman – which marked a historic moment for contemporary fashion – this time the 10 actors chosen to play on the catwalk the normal man in his daily life with his work “uniforms”.
“Body of Work”, this is the title of the collection, puts at the center of the narrative just the work and its uniforms to which Miuccia and Raf have given pride and pride through tailoring, and emphasizing the dignity of the daily commitment of each of us.
“The approach is to make all garments equally important. Underneath the coats and suits are suits made of lightweight material, deux-pièces, that evoke the idea of work, movement, activity and leisure. They are rematerialized, to give them a different importance. In tech silk, leather, luxury cotton, they replace the traditional historical shirt/belt/tie, giving a new energy and reality, even a younger attitude. Always respecting the importance of sartorial classicism, while moving into the futur”, said Raf Simons.
Kyle MacLachlan (who opened the show), Asa Butterfield, Damson Idris, Filippo Scotti, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Tom Mercier, Jaden Michael, Louis Partridge, Ashton Sanders and Jeff Goldblum (who closed it), this is the cast that makes up the group of actors who paraded yesterday in the middle of a movie theater thanks to the staging of the AMO studio – by now a constant collaboration between the division that deals with research and design of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA studio and Prada.
A stage on which a representation took place in which all human beings deserve the same equal dignity and in which there is no longer a hierarchy, not even clothes have it. Clothes are no longer a glorification of the role one plays within society but are instead a powerful praise of the person wearing it, their humanity and their daily commitment.
“This interaction allows merit and value to be placed on human endeavor at all levels: work uniforms, thus perceived, take on a new importance. Daily activity becomes a moment of occasion and acquires relevance and value, emphasizing the importance of work within society”, the note accompanying the collection reveals.
A radical change of course, a very precise and deliberate contrast developed by Prada in this FW22. The celebration of power and the man of power leaves room for the exaltation of work, whatever it is, as a daily commitment of man that gives dignity and pride regardless of hierarchies and roles.
I close this reflection on power, the dignity of work and its uniforms that yesterday’s Prada fashion show made us do with a quote taken from a TV series, The Iron Throne, uttered by the master of whispers Varys, who understood power and its facets like few other: “Power resides where men believe that power resides. It is a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man is able to cast a very large shadow.”.
Below you can see the entire Prada FW22 show.