Reduction to an essence. An antidote to complexity. A purity, a directness, an instinct. These are the source-points of inspiration behind the Prada Spring/Summer 2020 womenswear collection. It is, fundamentally, a collection about the power of women over clothing, and of style over fashion.
An import is therefore placed on a manner of wearing, on the personality of the women inside, which affords a new plurality. Each ensemble becomes a portrait of each woman. The wearers transform the meaning, and our interpretation, of each garment. The impression is that of the impulsive, the improvised, an unstudied, genuine casualness, an implied lack of concern manifested when clothes are worn.
The attributes of past decades are incidental – they cite stylistic ‘tropes’ rather than fashions, silhouettes and shapes which defined particular epochs, such as the 1920s, 1970 and 1990s, speaking of a wider culture. Avoiding retrospection, here those sartorial signifiers are mixed together, in a constant state of flux. Eschewing easy classification, they become simultaneously all and nothing – they contradict, undermine and reinterpret. The women wearing them reactivate these aesthetic quotations, opening them to reappraisal.
Garments are archetypal and self-referential: each is a statement or outline of its own form type. The extrapolation of a single piece from an ensemble, its move from one person to another, automatically shifts perception, as does its juxtaposition with other garments. There is a sense of immediacy and spontaneity evoked by rawness, by naïve gestures and simple fabrics: kid mohair; fine ribbed knit; embroidered leather with a raw edge, easily tied; a gauze in silk. Brocade and gold are used as contrary punctuation, an interruption.
Classicism and Prada classicism: there are elements of a universal history, and specific components can be recognised immediately as Prada. Fabrications, embroideries, patterns, colours combined – fundamental principles, codes. These components emphasise an overarching precedence, of style over fashion – one that is timeless.
For the Spring/Summer 2020 Prada Womenswear show, AMO devised a vibrant and colorful geometric pattern that enfolds across the hall of the Fondazione Prada’s Deposito – an expansive, all-encompassing vista, both illuminated and infused with a summery glow.
The audience enters the showspace by ascending a stepped platform: an architectural device, it serves as balcony and belvedere overlooking the panorama of the room. The installation for the first time occupies the entire space of the hall, creating a field of vision that extends to the raw concrete structure. The space is invaded by an intricate ornamental geometry, composed of a multitude of colored ceramic tiles that defines the stage. This field of pixelated gloss is surrounded by a wall running along the perimeter, mediating the industrial character of the building.
An oblique light washes the scene, magnifying the reflections of the tiles and illuminating gold leaf details on the columns. The warm glow that filtrates into the room projects lit spots and long shadows on the floor, evoking a midsummer atmosphere. Guests are accommodated in an intimate setting composed of a series of squared seats, whose forms interlace with the floor motifs. Together they define a series of terraces, of crossing perspectives. The models follow the trajectories of the tile pattern, emerging from a collective public gathered in the balmy light of an indoor sunset.
Concept by OMA/AMO