Prada’s Pre-Fall 2015 campaign seeks to address the push-pull between the sexes.
By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
If there was one singular trend on everyone’s minds post the recent Fall 2015 runway shows, it was the meaning of gender. While fashion at times may feel light and fleeting, the dinner discussions during the month were more in line with philosophical banter and barbs amongst professionals and theorists over the role of men and women in today’s day and age. For the pre-fall campaign of Prada, the house decided to weigh in with their release.
Gender’s complexities and contradictions have always been an essential, evolving question for Prada.What do men take from women? What do women keep for themselves? The most profound influences from one to the other are often the least apparent, the least visible. These exchanges still charge the cultural sphere.
The wording ‘least apparent’ struck a cord with The Impression as we found ourselves doubling back between images and statement to see if, in fact, we were falling victim to ‘the emperor’s new clothes.’ While the campaign, lensed by longtime Prada photographer Steven Meisel, does in fact feature couples, we found ourselves at a loss when looking for answers or even provoking questions about the relationship between the sexes within the images. In short, they looked liked youthful, fashionably chic couples we would all like to see ourselves as, but not provoking pushers that challenge our notions of gender and relationships.
Nor do they need to be. While the statement does bring up thought-provoking questions and play into today’s fashion climate, sometimes a great campaign is just a great campaign and doesn’t need the craftiness of a copywriter to augment its beauty.
Captured in Meisel’s New York studios, each photograph features a male/female couple, alternately aloof, or intimately entwined. The neutral gray backdrop focuses our eyes on theirs. The attitudes on display are elegance, poise and dare. The poses also elicit an infinite freedom to interpret the relationships between the characters and towards each of us looking. Gender’s complexities and contradictions have always been an essential, evolving question for Prada. What do men take from women? What do women keep for themselves? The most profound influences from one to the other are often the least apparent, the least visible. These exchanges still charge the cultural sphere. Like the Prada Men’s FW15 show-space, somber blues and blacks pervade the collections, especially a heavy use of black nylon, extending to eveningwear also. Nylon is one of Prada’s iconic fabrics, particularly so when coupled with the allusion to uniforms, another Prada DNA. These hard monochromes are periodically softened by a wool, camel coat or textured, camouflaged checks. – from PRADA
Stylist | Olivier Rizzo
Models | Artur Chruszcz, Aya Jones, Finnlay Davis, Johannes Spaas, Julia Nobis, Louis Bauvir, Maartje Verhoef, Natalie Westling, Niels Trispel, Tim Schuhmacher, & Willow Hand
Hair | Guido Palau
Makeup | Pat McGrath