Prada is not a brand short of star-pulling power or celebrity ambassadors, but few have embraced the role quite so enthusiastically as its favorite catwalk star: Jeff Goldblum.
The Hollywood actor and notorious nice guy nearly stole the show at the brand’s menswear spring/summer 2023 catwalk on Sunday afternoon in Milan. A guest rather than a model this time, he staged his own impromptu press conference from his front-row seat and declared: “I love wearing these clothes. They are my favorite things to wear!”
He’s not alone. A brand as copied as it is desired, under the creative directorship of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the company reported a 41% increase in total net revenue at the end of 2021 compared with 2020. While the pandemic would have of course skewed normal bookkeeping , when it came to getting out of the house again, there’s no question Prada was a popular port of call.
In sartorial terms, Prada continues to set the temperature and the trends for the season to come. For next summer, Goldblum and the rest of the celebrity front row – including Rami Malek, Ncuti Gatwa, Jake Gyllenhaal and Song Kang – watched the duo tap into its modus operandi of giving familiar clothing a complexity that justifies the hype and the price.
Slimline, double-breasted black suits were worn with exaggerated cowboy boots; the everyday duster coat arrived in pink, orange and red gingham; jumpers and comfy cardigans came with fluoro stripes and shrunken nostalgic appeal; denim jackets had the collars shaved off; and checked tabard-meets-overall-style shirts were on hand to give traditional wardrobe staples a Prada spin. It was a collection that celebrated the elegant domesticity that is often overlooked or exaggerated in fashion, but what Prada knows the people ultimately want.
“The collection is about simplicity as a concept, as a choice,” Prada relayed to the press before the show, adding that keeping it simple was also a trend. “It was about clothes that people could really wear, but with an impact … So much that is the base is really a conceptual choice – a coat, jeans, a suit. They appear simple, but are the result of a process.” Simons competed, adding that individuality comes from the way it is worn.
“The garments are classic, but their mix contradictions, making them exciting and new,” he said, pointing to a deliberate oddness. “A combination of rawness and sophistication in these clothes is also important. The contrast of classicism and a spontaneity lends it a sensitivity, an emotion.”
With neither Prada or Simons available for comment after the show, it fell to Goldblum to have the final word. “What these [designers do] is fiercely intelligent and unique with high integrity,” he enthused. “Clothes with the best kind of character.”