Prada resurrects a pair of 1990s tropes in most timely fashion.
If we had to name two trends that have been deﬁning fashion in recent years, they would be (a) 1990s style, and (b) that sportyformal blend known as athleisure. Which makes it the perfect time for Italian luxury powerhouse Prada to bring back two of its biggest hits from recent decades – its black nylon accessories, and its Linea Rossa (“red line” in Italian) sportswear line.
Launched within the Fall/ Winter 2018 men’s collection, the “Prada Invites” project kicked off the brand’s resurrection of black nylon. A handful of renowned architects and designers, including Rem Koolhaas and Konstantin Grcic, were asked to design accessories using the material. For Spring/Summer 2019, the brand is extending the project with a female focus. Using the utilitarian material, a trio of female architects have created thoughtful, unusual designs: Elizabeth Diller, for instance, proposes a garment bag that can double as outerwear, as well as a two-pocket “yoke” bag that can be worn across the shoulders, or folded and carried as a clutch.
Striking a much more colourful note are the pieces in the Linea Rossa line, distinguished by a signature red line, as well as sporty form informed by function. Originally launched in 1997 but practically inexistent in the 2000s (save for an eyewear collection), Linea Rossa now makes a comeback as Prada’s answer to the athleisure revolution. This season, high-tech fabrics that are ultralight, abrasion-resistant and/ or temperature-regulating have been used to create performance clothing intended for sports such as skiing and snowboarding. With these winning moves, we think it’s safe to say that Prada is on the right track.
02 IN CRUISE MODE
Once merely collections designed to bridge the two main annual fashion seasons, the inter-seasonal collections – that’s Cruise (also known as Resort) at year’s end and Pre-Fall during mid-year – have taken on signiﬁ cant commercial importance. Bottega Veneta has decided to divide its Cruise offerings into three distinct groups, to be delivered to stores in November, December and January. The ﬁrst batch includes colourful checks and lush, yet easy, shearling-accented outerwear, but what we are most looking forward to are coming next January: the pieces with pointillist checks, where check patterns are formed by tiny dots.
03 WILD WORLD
Gucci and Dior Homme have their respective bees, Kenzo has its tiger, and, now, Valentino is bringing out its own menagerie of fantastic beasts in its Fall/Winter collection. The tiger, dragon and panther add a ﬂamboyant touch to a selection of coats and jackets, as well as small leather goods. Mind you, these animal-accented pieces aren’t a result of peer inﬂuence. Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli took his inspiration from the brand’s women’s haute couture pieces from the 1960s.
04 GREAT SCOT
If Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh were still alive today, he would be 150 years old this year. While most of the events commemorating this anniversary are taking place in Mackintosh’s hometown of Glasgow, fans of his strong, sinuous lines and graphic elements do not have to be Scotland-bound to get into the spirit of things. Including ready-to-wear, leather goods and other accessories, the Loewe Mackintosh collection tastefully incorporates the designer’s signatures. We like the stained glass-inspired Puzzle bag featuring a rose motif, as well as the coats and blankets decorated with the late designer’s botanical paintings.
TEXT LYNETTE KOH