The Prada Fall/Winter 2023 collection was a powerful reminder of the role of fashion in a rapidly changing world. A year ago, the news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was breaking, and there were questions about the place of fashion amidst impending war. Some wondered if the shows should be canceled, but Prada and Raf Simons, their creative directors, had a different vision in mind.
The white lily pin that came with the invitation was a symbol of hope for the future, an acknowledgment of the seriousness of what has passed. Behind the scenes, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons talked about the importance of giving value to modest jobs, and the collection was a tribute to everyday heroes like nurses and military personnel.
Prada has always been known for rejecting the obvious, and this season was no exception. The designers examined uniforms, and transformed them into beautiful, elevated pieces. Nurses’ whites were transformed into long-line shirt dresses with short trains, and army uniforms were reinterpreted into elegant parkas and tapered trousers. The skirt front was a display of variety, with minis, pencils, and voluminous swing skirts all making appearances, accentuated with origami fabric flowers.
The simple crewneck sweaters in camel and charcoal gray were paired with these skirts, and the shirtless blazers with detachable dickey-style collars and the pillowy white down-stuffed puffers and miniskirts were evolutions of ideas presented in the menswear show a month ago. The collection was a persuasive argument for fashion’s ability to balance the precariousness of the world with the responsibility to entertain and dress customers.
As Charli D’Amelio, the 18-year-old TikTok phenom, sat front-row, the Prada Fall/Winter 2023 collection provided much food for thought and a heaping serving of new things to want to wear. In a world that is constantly changing, Prada and Raf Simons have once again shown that fashion can be a force for good, a reminder of the importance of caring and a celebration of the everyday heroes among us.