Prada’s spring/summer 2013 collection features digitally printed dandelions appliqued onto dresses, skirts and folding kimono jackets. The boldly stitched flowers grow upon duchesse dark satin, caught somewhere between a Harajuku girl and a 1960s silkscreen.
Prada has a longstanding relationship with digital, aesthetically and strategically. For autumn/winter 2004, in the height of our digital explosion, the Italian house featured computer-generated imagery reminiscent of a video game, lasered across skirts, jackets and shirting. Miuccia Prada saw a future dominated by technology and embraced it, hemline and sinker. Computer-generated prints on silk and padded nylon; neon clustered skirts worn with Baroque-inspired heels and eighteenth century shapes, balancing the marriage between old and new. The Prada Robot was launched, and has remained a firm ambassador for the brand.
For spring/summer 2008 Prada collaborated with director James Lima to create ‘Fallen Shadows’, employing the latest in digital technology to animate the illustrative art-nouveau fairies printed across the collection, alongside bright checks and stripes. The Prada girl is haunted and chased by her own shadow, as she travels on a digital journey through landscapes that reference the works of Dali, Duchamp and Buñuel.
"The Prada girl is haunted and chased by her own shadow, as she travels on a digital journey through landscapes that reference the works of Dali, Duchamp and Buñuel"
Spring/summer 2010 saw Prada took on the beach with their futurism-inspired collection of faded palm-trees and sun loungers on silk shorts and coat hemlines, while storm clouds lingered on shoulders.
Prada print has a playful innocence and never lets slip its grasp on femininity. “Fashion fosters clichés of beauty,” Miuccia Prada states, “but I want to tear them apart.”
An exploration of the impact of computer technology on fashion, Digital Visions for Fashion + Textiles: Made in Code, is out now, published by Thames & Hudson.
Text by Mhairi Graham