Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016 Report

SAVE THE WORLD. Fashion trends often document seasonal zeitgeists, mirroring what the world is going through. This season, they might just be an SOS call to superheroes


A “troubled” sailor-inspired ensemble on Prada’s runway
A “troubled” sailor-inspired ensemble on Prada’s runway


There was something about Prada’s runway show that’s very unsettling. Some of the looks had shirt collars that were turned up unkemptly, sleeves that were hanging and dragging, and clothes wrongly buttoned. The season’s highlighted shirts, made in collaboration with artist Christopher Chemin, were desirable but thematically dark despite the pretense of cheery colors—one reinterprets the catastrophic story of Noah’s Ark, and another depicts a chaotic fight between Sigmund Freud, Frida Kahlo, and a bunch of the most eccentric personalities who ever lived. Even more intimidating was the setting itself. To a layman, it’s a cold structure, with dramatic lighting and an odd, raised center stage. In Prada’s own words, it is an auto-da-fé, a ritual of public penance for condemned heretics.

Backstage, designer Miuccia Prada mentioned “immigration, famine, assassination” as the keywords that underlined the tone of the show. The world was going through such a crisis in February this year, that even luxury brands like Prada wouldn’t let it go unacknowledged. In a press statement that followed after, she remarked, “It’s an excursion through history, connecting what’s happening now with what happened in history. See if there’s anything we can learn.”

Yes, it’s a troubled world we live in. But should we display that on the runway? Prada, cleverly, didn’t only present a little “chaos” through styling, but, on a bigger scale, wanted to reframe the way we imagine military heroes and sailors returning from troubled deployments. Notice how that idea alone had transposed into the most beautiful accessories for the season: the one-chain bracelet, faux keys (although this gives the wearer a prison-guard look), and small bag charms with mini anchors on them.


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