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Milan Fashion Week: Prada Projects Youthful optimism

AP
Lead designers Miuccia Prada (left) and Raf Simons acknowledge the applause at the end of the Prada Spring Summer 2025 fashion show, which was presented on June 16 in Milan, Italy.

MILAN (AP) — Without making outright statements, Milanese designers expressed concern about global turbulence through their collections.

Miuccia Prada said she wanted to radiate optimism.

“Because even when times are bad, I think it was the right thing to do,” she said backstage at the Prada show. She doesn’t promote escapism. “Ultimately I propose something positive, but I don’t like escapism.”

Not using the platform to comment on the state of the world would be “irresponsible,” said the designers behind the Simon Cracker brand, which was born 14 years ago to challenge the prevailing fashion system with upcycled collections.

They dedicated their collection, entitled ‘A Matter of Principle’, to ‘the children who are victims of matters of principle’.

Some highlights from the third day of mostly menswear previews for Spring-Summer 2025:

An already inhabited look

Prada’s menswear collection plays with the idea of ​​imperfection. But nothing is what it seems.

Tops, jackets and hoodies appear shrunken, more than cropped. Overcoats have three-quarter sleeves. It’s a wardrobe that has somehow been inherited and already lived in. Folds are part of the construction, as technical as a pleat. Pointed shirt collars are held up by threads. The pants have fake belts, low and below the waist. Straps are also used as decoration on bags, as if they need to be closed.

Prada, co-creative director of the brand with Simons, said playing with the idea of ​​the real versus the fake “is very contemporary” and called such details “an invitation to take a closer look at the clothes.”

The neutral color palette is interrupted by feminine shades: a bright green cardigan, a floral blouse, a turquoise coat, which, according to the designers, suggests the wardrobe of a mother or grandmother. Pieces can be aligned with inverted triangular cutouts, for layering.

“We wanted (the collection) to already be alive, as if you were already living with clothes,” Simons said backstage.

Prada models emerged from a simple white hut and descended into the showroom along a runway flanked by a white wooden fence. The designers describe the setting as essential, utopian and youthful.

“Here the youth is the hope, it is the future,” Prada said. “At this time we also thought it was relevant to encourage young people to think about our world.”

A world in knots for Simon

So many knots to undo in the world, so many knots holding together the latest Simon Cracker collection of largely upcycled clothing.

For spring-summer 2025, designers Filippo Biraghi and Simone Botte have put together their collection of repurposed garments using laces and drawstrings to create skirts from tennis shirt panels, dresses from knitwear and restructured jackets. Each piece is unique.

The ‘nervous’ color palette of black, violet, sea blue and acid green was achieved through dyeing, with each material responding differently to the process.

“It’s a way of telling what’s happening in the world without being too explicit,” Biraghi said backstage. “It would be irresponsible not to be political at this time.”

The name of the 14-year-old brand is meant to indicate that something is broken – cracked – in the fashion system. They embrace imperfection as part of the beauty of their creations, made from forgotten or discarded garments and dead fabrics, this time including textiles from Italian sportswear brand Australian.

Australian, which is gaining traction with the club crowd, also created a capsule collection of black neon and technical clothing for Simon Cracker, its first production line. Doc Martens supplied the shoes, which the designers personalized with pins, badges and costume jewelry.

Real Sleep by JW Anderson

JW Anderson’s warm-weather collection for men and women envelops the form in soft, spongy outerwear—a counterintuitive choice on a warming planet. The collection’s ostensible motto, emblazoned across jackets, sweaters and T-shirts, Real Sleep, can be read as a prescription for dealing with the real world.

The humorous collection played “with this idea of ​​miniature scale and maximum scale,” the Northern Irish designer said after the show. It started with oversized quilted coats and progressed to large cashmere balls of yarn, each in triplicate.

On the miniature side, Anderson recreated Georgian terraced houses and cottages in knitwear fronts, with intarsia doors and windows.

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