Spring 2024 Men's Fashion Show Review

Review of Prada Spring 2024 Men’s Fashion Show

Fluid Architecture

By Mark Wittmer

Don’t take this the wrong way; the collection itself was great – it’s Prada, after all – but what felt like the most exciting and revelatory moment of the house’s Spring 2024 men’s show was its amazing set design. The sparse, low space of corrugated steel felt rigid and linear, almost architecturally hostile – until the show began, and thin curtains of green slime began to cascade from the steel mesh ceiling, creating a repetition of translucent, viscous corridors.

This play between rigid architecture and sensual fluidity was at the core of Raf Simons’ and Miuccia Prada’s vision for the season.

This concern for liberated movement was applied to pretty much the whole traditional spectrum of menswear, beginning with the classic suit jacket – its architecture at once preserved and completely reconsidered – and moving through shirting, raincoats, active sportswear, fisherman vests, and more.

After the slime, another surprise came a few minutes into the show when the atmospheric and reflective electronic score transitioned into Nine Inch Nails’ darkly throbbing industrial dance classic “Closer,” with its iconic chorus (“I wanna fuck you like an animal, I wanna feel you from the inside”) in a way contrasting with the sophistication of design, but also somehow totally working with the collection’s consideration for the body’s movement.

Though this concern for wearability and ease of motion was more focused on the man within the clothing, there was certainly still much to take in with the eyes. While the sartorial categories were familiar, a new clarity of silhouette and volume came into focus. The spring classic of floral prints were rendered in three dimensions through appliqué, while cargo pockets created a similar play of volume as they were reconsidered as adornment more than utility. Furry mohair trimmings returned from previous seasons and blurred the body’s boundaries, finding new meaning in connection to the aforementioned NIN lyrics. And those shorts are just so cute!

While the collection itself may not have offered too many surprises, the exquisite contrast of its surprising set design perfectly balanced out the reconsidered familiarity of the clothing itself, pointing to a thoughtful and sensitive respect for wearability. Last season, Simons and Prada stuck rigidly to a theme of reductionism, stripping things back to a core silhouette, an architectural skeleton. Now the designers have put flesh and bodily fluids back on the bones, creating wearable architecture for life’s fluid motions.