Something we've come to expect from Miuccia Prada in her seasonal collections is some sort of esoteric conceptual theme which informs the clothing and accessories — a glimpse into the designer's visionary mind. Whether she goes full goth, with combat boots, wilted flowers and Wednesday Addams hair; ruminates on the anxieties and aesthetics of the content-obsessed digital age; or does up doomsday utilitarian workwear in shocking shades of neon, there's always a signature weirdness (and, as many would claim, an ugliness) to Prada's collections that make them unlike anything else on the market. This is what makes her the ultimate trendsetter, earning her legions of fans across the globe and providing the rest of the industry — including fast fashion retailers — with design ideas for subsequent seasons.
While Prada's had several commercial hits over the past few seasons — intarsia logo sweaters, neon bucket hats, tie-dye skirts and handbags, chunky headbands, the flame shirt — the Italian house's profits were disappointing to say the least in 2018, with a reported $864 million in value loss. Transitional seasons resort and pre-fall are known to be the most important from a commercial standpoint, as they stay on shelves the longest and consist of transitional wardrobe staples, so for Prada's Resort 2020 show, which walked on Thursday night in New York, the designer kept things simple, sweet and sellable — something that turned out to be a winning combination.
There were easy, classic coats and blazers tailored just-so, in neutral shades of navy, black and tan, as well as preppy, multicolored plaids — the kind of pieces you could keep forever and style one million ways. In Prada's case, plaid jackets were layered over striped blouses for a visually interesting effect that didn't feel try-hard. Easy smock dresses and roomy tunic-style tops came embroidered with flowers in every cheery color of the rainbow, and though most could be worn on their own, some were layered over shorts or a skirt in a complementary color. More rainbow hues came through in a series of silky striped skirts — some monochrome, like a cherry red version, and some color-blocked — accented with strips of lace. Lovely mixed-print floral dresses, which could have been cast off as latecomers to the ubiquitous prairie trend, got the Prada treatment with the addition of blue-and-white striped sleeves.
Oversize, utilitarian suits were made ultra feminine by their fabrications: In addition to pastel options in pale pink and sky blue, there were all-over florals, some printed small with the addition of swallows in flight, and some larger blooms interspersed with butterflies. Piling on mixed prints was a popular motif executed expertly, as were girly accessories that are sure to be street style hits. The paillette scarves and beanies, striped colorful socks, dangly pearl earrings and long necklaces, nylon backpacks, pinned hair pieces and, believe it or not, bowling bags are the types of items that will light up Instagram in no time.
If you're not one to invest heavily in trendy pieces, there are timeless collegiate sweater vests, the aforementioned tailored outerwear, suede coats, midi skirts and pleated dresses that you'll keep in your closet forever, turning to them again and again. This collection might be considered "simple" by typical Prada standards, but in an industry where more is more is more and fashion becomes more disposable by the day, we're thinking Ms. Prada has the right idea here with keeping things classic.
See the full Prada Resort 2020 collection in the gallery below.