After nearly 40 years in the business, a fashion show for designer Miuccia Prada is par for the course. But where her learned skills really come in — the ability to keep classic runway shows alive and to produce collections that are just as conceptual as they are commercial — is when she puts fashion on so theatrical a stage that clothes electrify. At the Prada fall 2018 show in Milan, that stage may have been an illusion, with showgoers not knowing where it started or ended, but it was the setting for her latest infatuation, blinding neon, to literally reflect the sign of the times.
A diverse lineup (with Sudanese model Anok Yai opening the show, the first Black woman to do so for the Italian label since Naomi Campbell), the return of those flame heels from spring 2012, appearances by major faces like Sasha Pivovarova and Amber Valletta, and an introduction of Prada gifs via a fictional Instagram character made for some of the only hype we'll see from the European shows this season. On top of these standout moments, the collection itself will be hard to miss come time it hits shelves and the streets of fashion month. A few impractical trends to lookout for: neon, rubber, nylon, tulle, and velcro. (Though there's no word on how to incorporate any of these into your current wardrobe just yet.)
But back to the brightest ideas we've seen from Prada in quite some time. The dose of unusual textures, industrialism dressed up in hot pinks and lime greens, and even the clinical overtones suggest an optimistic future for a brand that's wading through industry waters, both financially and aesthetically. Not since maybe spring 2014 or fall 2012 (or even spring 2011), have we seen such distinction from Prada's lull — and a distancing from its sister label Miu Miu, too. It's the (Miuccia) Prada we've missed, and the one we hope sticks around.