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Milan Fashion Week

Prada AW18

Playing with perception, delving into dystopian visions of a not-too-distant future, if last season had toyed with the notion of superheroes, then for Autumn/Winter 2018 at Prada, this was an exploration into the duality of femininity and strength and how this can be conveyed through the act of dressing. Another dichotomy was apparent in Prada's world; a blurring between distinctions of fashion, art and design, as the designer interrogated the notion that, for some, fashion is still seen as "frivolous" in a world where self-expression is so fundamental.

Setting the show in the new extension of the Fondazione Prada, with disorientating black-mirrored floors and against a dark cityscape backdrop emblazoned with neon Prada signs, complete with drones flying overhead, this was night, and the abyss was staring back. A dramatic stage for an equally potent and compelling collection, in keeping with what we’ve seen on many runways this season, other-worldly, Blade Runner, Sci-Fi vibes were rife, with masculine, utilitarian layers of high-vis tabards and tulle, fluorescents and digi-prints played out in construction vests and dresses. Rainwear was padded and parkas were oversized, cocktail dresses were fringed in plastic tinsel, while a more natural, organic story came from textured wool tweeds on outerwear, dresses and boxy skirt suits.

Adding to the impact, bags and pouches were doubled-up in contrasting neons, while rubber rain boots were given puffy drawstring leg-warmer elements, and strappy vibrant Mary Janes were worn with black socks for extra pop, reflecting that, despite the darkness, Miuccia Prada's vision of the future is bright.