Friday 7th June 2019

Prada Menswear Spring Summer 2020, Shanghai. And so we find ourselves inside one of Asia‘s largest grain Silos, all 80,000 tons of capacity at Minsheng Wharf. Powerful, major, monumental. A rice cathedral. There is an undercurrent of Blade Runner,  a back to the future dystopia, a place where Trons and a futuristic vision rule. Perhaps dramatic but the overlord here in Shanghai is the fabulous Orient Pearl TV Tower a Sputnik style rocket ship of a tower, like a child’s drawing come to life, waiting to be blasted off. It sets the tone. The future offers hope and Miuccia Prada is ever hopeful. Her menswear collection is called “Optimist Rhythm,” we like that and that she is kicking off 2020 with such confidence. Up, up, upbeat and away. And then there is Frank Ocean sitting opposite, in the blue neon etched light, all illuminated cool cat, post his Met Gala custom made Prada nylon moment. If anyone can, Frank can. This collection is then an  exploration of new can-do proportions and upscaling. A long shirt reaching almost to the knees worn over loose shorts with a shorter jacket, lots of new equations explored. Volume at full throttle. Amazing backpacks with lots of extra pockets- army dreamer. The kind of rucksacks that will get the job done slung over the shoulder, youthful and will take you anywhere in the world. The Prada logo simply triangulated, and chunky, and new Lo-fi tech video cameras and cassettes like badges serving as a reminder of how things have changed. No shirts and ties, no Frankenstein prints more a collection of super relaxed, simple light khakis, soft pastels, loving the stand out pastel knits, and all off set with deep tread soled boots. A gender neutral collection and a casting to reflect, including Nathan Westling. Duality. Explore. The invitation arrived complete with a torch to illuminate the invisible writing – it had already made us feel like boy scouts, and reminded us of Moonrise Kingdom, and so here it was again a boyishness, an innocence informed by experience of course, but a collection imbued with poignance. The expert simplicity and understatement made us want to cry. What is unsaid. But wait, we loved the Welcome to the Pleasuredome moment (pleasurefix mix) by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Just right. Put it on the playlist and listen up.

by Alison Veness





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