Prada is one brand that’s not short on star audiences or celebrity ambassadors, but few have embraced the role as enthusiastically as your favorite runway star: Jeff Goldblum.
The Hollywood actor and notorious nice guy nearly stole the show on the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 menswear runway in Milan on Sunday afternoon. More of a guest than a model this time, he staged his own impromptu press conference from his front row seat and explained, “I love wearing these clothes. They are my favorite items of clothing!”
He’s not alone. A brand copied as it is desired, under the creative direction of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the company reported a 41% increase in total net sales at the end of 2021 compared to 2020. While the pandemic would of course have distorted normal accounting , when it came to getting out of the house, there was no doubt that Prada was a popular port of call.
As for fashion, Prada continues to set the temperature and trends for the upcoming season. For the next summer, Goldblum and the rest of the celebrity front row — including Rami Malek, Ncuti Gatwa, Jake Gyllenhaal and Song Kang — watched as the duo applied his approach to bringing a complexity to familiar attire that belied the hype and price justified.
Slim, double-breasted black suits were worn with exaggerated cowboy boots; the everyday duster came in pink, orange, and red gingham; Sweaters and comfortable cardigans came with fluor stripes and a shrunken nostalgic appeal; the collars of denim jackets were shaved off; and tabard-meets-overall-style plaid shirts were in place to give traditional wardrobe staples a Prada twist. It was a collection that celebrated elegant domesticity, which is often overlooked or exaggerated in fashion, but ultimately what Prada knows is what people want.
“The collection is about simplicity as a concept, as a choice,” Prada told press ahead of the show, adding that keeping it simple is also a trend. “It was about clothes that people could actually wear, but with effect… So much of what the base is really is a conceptual choice – a coat, a pair of jeans, a suit. They appear simple but are the result of a process.” Simons agreed, adding that individuality comes from the way it is worn.
“The garments are classic, but their mix of contradictions makes them exciting and new,” he said, pointing out a deliberate oddity. “A combination of rawness and sophistication in these garments is also important. The contrast of classic and spontaneity gives it a sensibility, an emotion.”
With neither Prada nor Simons available to comment after the show, it fell to Goldblum to have the final say. “What these [designers do] is extremely intelligent and unique with high integrity,” he enthused. “Clothes with the best character.”