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There are no “useful garments” at Milan Fashion Week. However, the filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, who was in the front row for Sunday’s menswear presentation, offered the following assessment: “Useful, yes; wearable, yes; all those things. This can be worn by anyone.

Regardless of price tags, his point was that Prada, like in prior shows, took something you would already own—a ribbed white vest, a backpack—and transformed them into must-have items. The same was done to navy parkas, black office brogues, donkey jackets, duffle coats, and jerkin jackets. In addition to serving as a reflection of what is going on in the world, fashion may also serve as a reminder of the things we already own. 

The designer Miuccia Prada remarked of the autumn/winter 2023 presentation she co-designed with Raf Simons, who joined in 2020, “The most honest thing we can do is to produce something meaningful for people now.” We always discuss reality, and as designers, we are very aware of what is going on, the issues, and the challenges.

Although they might not seem very practical, these A4-sized totes carried water bottles. They were made of the same type of flooring made of aluminium that you might find at the bottom of a lido. In addition to holding a laptop, smartphone, and Moleskin notebook, a luxury purse can also hold your lunch.

Fashion week may be jarring due to the dazzling glamour and all the star-studded front rows. Designers frequently become attracted by everyday wardrobes, select out the most intriguing components, and attempt to resell them to us at a premium price. After all, this is late capitalism. But even if you can’t afford this things, you can still acquire the Prada look by rummaging through your teenage son’s closet, Milan’s Navigli market, or secondhand stores.

There were enough outrageous moments among the jackets to please ardent Prada enthusiasts. Unpredictable colour combinations (blue and brown), bright white spherical jackets that looked like duvets without the cover, and, in a slight reversal of her normal anti-sexy stance, even some bare torsos were on display. Although they would take some time to catch on on the high street, Guadagnino’s five suede tunics worn over skinny pants were among his slightly less “functional” favourites.

It can be challenging to balance creating something you desire with satisfying a brand’s commercial obligations, as every significant designer is aware. Making products that weren’t also desired didn’t help Prada generate € 3.3 billion (£2.9 billion) in sales in 2021 or rise to the second-most popular brand globally, according to Lyst, the global fashion aggregator.