PRADA’s inspiration for her SS18 collection was obvious way before the current face of the brand Kris Grikaite stepped out on the runway in her “illustrated” coat where creases and shadows were drawn onto it. It was apparent upon walking into the show space which was the same location where the men’s collection was presented in June, only now the walls were graced by blown-up comics cartoons of female comic book heroes drawn by nine female artists and illustrators who Miuccia Prada partnered with for this season, including Tarpé Mills who created the first female action hero, Miss Fury and Trina Robbins, the first female illustrator given the job to draw Wonder Woman. Other featured artists included Brigid Elva, Joëlle Jones, Stellar Leuna, Giuliana Maldini, Natsume Ono, Emma Ríos and Fiona Staples.
These illustrations were transferred onto the clothes as well. From more discreet shirt and T-shirt versions to coats and maxi-dresses covered in the whole comic book story, mixing all the artists’ work on one canvas.
The message was empowerment which is very topical as women continue to fight for equal pay and absolute equality with men globally. There was mixing of the typically feminine and typically masculine as buttoned-up shirts were worn with straight leg trousers with the same illustrated effect as Grikaite’s coat and floral jacquard dress or bustier top over them.
One could also notice a nod to the 1940s in reference to Mills again as her comics were published mainly in this era and her heroines always displayed an excellent example of the time’s fashion. Hence, pencil skirts paraded down the runway paired with sleeveless shirts and knit one-shoulder vests and tailored shorts were paired with blazers and coats with rolled-up sleeves and knee-high socks. An elegant handbag always in hand, sometimes covered in comics drawings.
Patchwork was another technique that Prada embraced this season. Cotton shirts came with strips of animal or floral print fabric across the breasts and shirtdresses looked the same only with an A-line skirt in another material and print added.
Some of these outfits made the models look like action heroes themselves with narrow black sunglasses and PVC coats which brought Trinity from Matrix to mind, high-waisted shorts and studded brogues or pointy flats. It was a heroic show.
by Sara Hesikova
Images courtesy of Prada