The marketing people over at Prada sure know how to draw out the excitement around its seasonal campaigns. After releasing an early shot of resurrected superstar Gemma Ward in the spring 2015 collection and eventually teasing another few images of Julia Nobis and relative newcomer Ine Neefs, it then dropped its actor-studded men's ads and has now returned to give us the full women's campaign. It's fine, Prada, we'll take the bait.
The result is a mix of stark black and white studio shots juxtaposed against images of domestic messiness: a handbag next to a dripping bouquet of flowers and set of keys, or a jacket tossed in the sink. There's a nice correlation between the women's supposed disregard for their belongings and the strands of sweaty hair plastered to their temples; they own nice stuff and give the camera a level gaze, but they're not too buttoned up.
Prada's release explains the shoot's concept as a contradictory, female mix of being carefree but in control. You could also think about it in terms of the Golden Globes speech Maggie Gyllenhaal gave last night when she won for Best Actress in a TV Series for the "Honorable Woman": "What I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not; sometimes sexy, sometimes not; sometimes honorable and sometimes not." Sometimes you remember to fix your hair before leaving the house in your Prada dress, sometimes you don't.
Designers and photographers are often reductive about what it means to be a woman. This is of course idealized, but it's not half bad. Check out all the complicated femininity below.