The Weak Dudes of Prada Menswear

January 16, 2014 • Fashion

Dane DeHaan photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Spring/Summer 2014

Dane DeHaan photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Spring/Summer 2014

In the past week, Prada has been revisiting itself. Like, obviously. Miuccia Prada’s defining strength is her unwavering ability to re-view, criticize, glorify, and destroy her old proposals. But let’s talk about the latest two that released in close succession. The Spring/Summer 2014 campaign and the Fall/Winter 2014 menswear show revisited ideas in strange, almost off-putting ways bringing to mind the very recent in ways that feel very distant.

Iris: I didn’t expect the campaign to look like this. In my mind, I sorta thought it was going to be more close-up like details shots and portrait photos emphasizing the sweaty skin Pat McGrath did for the show. Usually the menswear ads don’t divert away from the show too much.I kept thinking models for this campaign, but I’m not complaining on what actually went down tho.

Daniel: We always think about models but we already know it’s gonna be actors, like.

Dane DeHaan in SS13 and SS14 Prada Campaigns

Iris: If u want my real initial reactions, just paste my texts I sent you here. I was literally shaking when I found out. Screaming!!! I’m still screaming.

Daniel: I like the somber attitude and vibe of it, it looked kinda washed up like the collection was all these bright weird clothes but the entire presentation and mood of these clothes feels so much more shipwrecked than holiday.  I wish the glistening skin stayed. It was legiterally the best part of the show.

Iris: Dane’s appearance in the SS13 campaign was weird because he wasn’t even in anything, like it was like shot in November 2012 and Chronicle came out February that year and no one cared bout him during that time, but then he was chosen to be Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spiderman 2 in December 2012 and I’m like wow how did Miuccia know. HOW DOES SHE KNOW ME?! Like this. I’m hella freaking out. Look, he’s so cute. I didn’t even like this collection but now I need a floral printed polo shirt.

Daniel: She’s always on the verge. The choice to like revisit Dane as the face of this campaign (rhyming schemes) feels really apt but also weird. Like correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any other actor has made a repeat appearance? I mean I’m checking and it doesn’t look like there are any other repeats, but you know, faces and names I don’t know of people from movies I haven’t seen, etc. Anyways, like it really adds another dimension to the idea of weakness that’s really at the core of her menswear in general but more importantly, in her menswear message right now. Dane always plays these sort of complicated (scary) and weak dudes who are like angel-faced destruction (your words lmfao). That weakness comes through thematically in all of the menswear she’s presented this year, cemented especially by this Fall/Winter 2014 collection.

Iris: Ikr, Menacing Paradise !!!

The Fall/Winter 2014 collection solidified the message of weakness Miuccia’s cultivating in her menswear. Since Spring/Summer 2013, the Prada menswear collection has consecutively been shown with the women’s Pre-Fall collection. In that collection, the statement was equality and sameness. For 2014, however, Prada revisits dullness from a new approach of creating naiveté. The menswear looks in this collection walked awkwardly amongst their womenswear counterparts, and in proximity, the guys’ clothes looked like underdeveloped ideas.

It’s nearly impossible to fake ignorance, so this collection’s weakness has been intentionally crafted as a message about her brand, her relationship with fashion, and her approach to clothes. In comparison to FW2008’s stylized femininity and FW2012’s theatrical power play, this show revisited all of that but in a purposefully reduced way. The dancer-tight silhouettes and the drama of jarring music and disheveled spotlighting appeared here. But where those collections were so definite in their ideas about the clothed body, this one felt strangely and purposefully weak. The clothes didn’t do anything except exist. The colors, scarves, and furs sloppily decorating them in unsavory ways. As a collection, its emptiness alienates. All of the Prada elements you love in all the ways you hate, and isn’t that what she’s set out to do?

Read more:
Lori Goldstein’s “Style Is Instinct:” A Fashion Book For Non-Fashion People
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