Milan Fashion Week just kicked off on Wednesday, and Prada, showcasing a runway designed to look like a teenage bedroom, has already set the production-value bar high.
The acclaimed Italian design house welcomed guests to its Milan headquarters on Thursday, opening the doors to a circuitous runway littered with ’70s-inspired bedroom furniture, photos tacked to lampshades and nightstands, and faux-movie posters lining the walls.
The space was created by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’s design firm, OMA, and was partitioned in two by a wall separating the private, interior space from the public, exterior space. At a show inspired by the movie title City of Women, the weight of the interior/exterior, public/private divide was clear.
A poster near the runway declaring the name of the show — “Continuous Interior” — read, “We have decided to look at the role women had in the shaping of modern society, their political participation and social achievements.” And in an interview with Vogue backstage afterwards, designer Miuccia Prada — herself an activist at heart — reflected on a conversation with an “old feminist” who said, “Here we are again,” referencing the current regressive political climate that’s gripping many parts of the world.
Though Prada herself admits that she can’t be too outwardly political, “I am not in the right position,” she says, she confesses that politics does creep into her work. “I have to…sneak it in,” she told Vogue. Indeed, her reflections on women’s dual public/private role, and the constant interior dialogue around beauty, self-worth, and identity that plagues most women throughout their lives, were notable.
As for that teenage bedroom set: Perhaps it was meant to signify the moment in women’s lives when their identities are most in flux, or have just begun to solidify, or to reflect the at times folksy, ’70s vibe of the collection. But either way, it provided a perfect perch for editors and fashion watchers, and a set the tone for an eye-opening runway presentation.