Milan Fashion Week SS17: Prada Makes A Case For Simple, Feel-Good Fashion

​More feathers please

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Prada seals it, spring/summer 17 is shaping up to be a season of optimistic fashion. Clothes that remind us of the power in dressing the way you want to feel. 

At Prada that meant a return to prettiness and elegance. 'Women's lives have interested me for many seasons. I decided I wanted to take care of now, the present and do something more simple and find a new way of elegance,' she explained backstage.

What will that mean for our wardrobes? Here, are the biggest takeaways and talking points from her show.

1) An austere set and David O. Russell film was the backdrop

How best to describe the show space? In a way it felt like being inside a massive cage, with layers of metal grid work serving as the runway, walls and seating. Above the runway, a string of television screens played an original film by David O. Russell created for the show. And the film, called Past Forward, was frankly so mesmerising it threatened to distract from the clothes. 

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At other moments, however, it complemented the collection beautifully with its scenes of women (including Girls actress Alison Williams and Kuoth Wiel) navigating crowded public and intimate personal spaces and a full range of emotions.

2) Uncomplicated, desirable clothes

The clothes were as bright as the backdrop was grey and seemed to be a very clear reaction to dark times.  

Prada SS17

'You know we live in this moment of fashion where we need something comfortable, real, and more sensible — this kind of simpleness and elegance,' Prada explained backstage. So she produced a line-up of pretty, intelligent clothes to love and wear for work and play:  blouses, trousers, skirts, dresses and coats in slightly vintage, 1940s shapes and a mix of pop-y graphics and pastels — all trimmed in fluffy marabou. 

These are clothes you can put on and feel attractive in. And for those women who have found the school of Vetements and its fleet of followers to be a little too real and austere, Prada's uncomplicated beauty just might do the trick.

3) More feathers please

There's something really grand and old-fashioned about the idea of wearing feathers — they seem more suited to playing dress-up rather than actually getting dressed up for real life. But this season has been showing some very appealing options and we suddenly want to wear marabou everywhere. 

Prada SS17

Proenza Schouler attached ostrich feathers to fantastic colour-blocked dresses and Prada featured them on nearly every look in her collection — on the lapels of coats, the cuffs of sleeves, the hems of cropped trousers and best of all as stoles. 

Prada SS17

There's something pretty radical about wearing a pair of crystal-studded chinoiserie pajamas trimmed in yellow feathers in 2016.

4) A win for runway diversity

Once criticized for her homogenous runways, spring/summer 17 might have been the brand's most diverse cast yet (a mix of old and new favourites like Arizona Muse, Saskia De Brauw, Liya Kebede, Raquel Zimmerman, Kai Newman and Fei Fei Sun), with a refreshingly wider mix of body types and ethnicities on the runway and in Russell's film.

Prada SS17

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