Far Left and Far Right: Prada Autumn Winter 2014, Centre: Prada Advertising from 2000
There's been a lot of talk about Prada's Autumn Winter 13/14 collection having a certain introspective quality (1), a revisiting of its past if you will; which made me think back to the times that Miuccia Prada has been inspired by her own archives. Revisiting ones past is not something alien to Miuccia Prada however. In fact, her design is often comprised of elements from previous collections and aesthetic projects. In this way, she is one of few designers who confident enough to be inspired by their own work.
Tradition versus innovation, and the tension that ensues from these seemingly disparate worlds, is a very Prada 'thing', a signature way of creation. Yet whilst this may not seem unique to the world of design, it is the way Miuccia manifests this so called signature style that makes her work so dynamic. She brings back the past; her own traditions and history at any given moment, yet completely reinvents it, to offer us a curious new aesthetic territory to indulge our senses in.
For me, I see this process as a very intelligent way of designing and creating. Why not reference oneself? After all, fashion is cyclical by nature, so why not be inspired by ones own work? Furthermore why not be inspired by the collaborations and partnerships with other like-minded artists?
Take one look at the advertising campaigns (see images below for reference), and you can see the curious link between past, present, and future, in Prada's work. On one hand, the creative direction and aesthetic sensibility of the advertising inspires the collections, and on the other, the cinematic nature of the (more recent) collections, in turn inspires the advertising. It is in this intelligent way that the world of Prada circumnavigates itself, endlessly inspiring both designer and audience, for many years to come.
Miu Miu Spring Summer 2000: Jenny Vatheuer by Anders Edström + Prada Spring Summer 2006: Sasha Pivovarova by Steven Meisel