As slime dripped from the ceilings in the beige space where Prada showed its spring 2024 collection on September 21, a whole new world of outfit formulas were revealed—along with a major dose of the deliciously hard-and-soft juxtapositions of the Italian label we know best.
The collection, presented during Milan Fashion Week, opened with narrow, high-waist, paper-bag belted shorts; a matching jacket with big sleeves; and a silky scarf thrown over the shoulder—a sort of demi-cape. Next came a parade of sheer, gauzy, pastel dresses—liquid in appearance, like gossamer pieces of glass candy. As the models walked, the fabric billowed in the wind, creating a surreal and cinematic effect that was impossible to capture in photos. The spring 2024 collection, as such, was firmly rooted in movement—and it showed. Big sleeves contrasted with little leather belts. Wispy blouses drew attention to chunky oxfords and floral shirting with built-in fringe.
A visual reminder of Mrs. Prada’s no-surface-left-behind mentality was everywhere, and the details said it all. Silver tinsel fringe belts were just one of the many jolts of electrifying fantasy (they also came in gold!). Little shift dresses were spun with fringe, grommets, and beading; and there were 1920s and 1940s motifs like utilitarian vests cloaked with a spray of glittering crystals. Spooky faces served as clasps for some of the bags, inspired by a design Miuccia Prada’s grandfather created in 1913. Each model’s head was covered in a bandage-like wrap for a striking editorial effect. Models took their final walk to the ’90s grunge hit “Bruise Violet” by Babes in Toyland. It all felt rebellious and brave during a season in which minimalism can be found on every runway.
Since Simons and Mrs. Prada joined forces in 2020, each Prada collection has been a careful study and consideration of each designer’s aesthetic. Simons’s cult classics came through in the boyish suiting, oversize workwear coats, sturdy shirts, and finally, the big-sleeve energy that grounded the whole show. As Mrs. Prada and Simons took their final bow, Fabio Zambernardi, design director for Miu Miu and Prada since November 2002, also took a bow this time—his final farewell to the brand.
Let Prada spring 2024 inspire your next season of dressing: relish in sheer skirts and little scarves as layering techniques and dig out your supersized bags to nestle in the crook of your arm. Live for the interesting spaces between artful embellishment and utilitarian workwear; little fringe dresses covered in beading look so right with a big Carhartt-like jacket. No brand mines this oddly satisfying kind of juxtaposition better than Prada.