@prada.archive spotlights some of the best late-90s and early-00s moments from the house
At Prada, the A/W18 season was all about reinstating the codes of Prada Linea Rossa, the house’s sportswear-inspired and pocone nylon-heavy line which first launched in 1997. Such was the popularity of the clothing – its tech-focused and futuristic designs appealed to a demographic on the cusp of a new millennium – that Miuccia Prada adopted it for her S/S99 womenswear collection, solidifying Prada’s place as a brand setting the zeitgeist.
Two decades on, Mrs Prada tapped into fashion’s current longing for athleisure once more, relaunching Prada Linea Rossa after the success of the A/W18 collection. And it was this move which encouraged Nat Tong, a 20-year-old fashion assistant living in London, to create @prada.archive – an Instagram account which spotlights some of the best late-90s and early-00s Prada moments. “The utility and the athletic wear was a big change from what Prada had done before,” says Tong. “Before, it was always very smart and chic; suits or very delicate materials, cuts and shapes. But, when Barrett came in, things started to change and I’m always referring back to that moment with this account.”
From Angela Lindvall starring in the brand’s S/S99 campaign shot by Norbert Schoerner, to Stella Tennant in slick black aviator sunglasses walking for A/W01 ready-to-wear, @prada.archive really does hone in on the period of time that has just come around again in the collections we’ve seen since on recent Prada runways. Indeed, these archival images are interspersed with some of the house’s latest designs – including pin-heeled, black leather shoes with nylon drawstring details and neon-orange bucket hats and gilets – which showcase the influence of that particular era.
“I’ve just gone back through a lot of issues of Vogue Italia from around that time – the late 1990s, early 2000s – and found a lot of things in there which I intend to post,” says Tong of his most recent discoveries. “L’Uomo Vogue from that period as well. I’m always coming across a lot if I do a deep enough search. I find Vogue Runway to be an invaluable source for looking at collections from then and now as well. I really can spend hours on there, looking at all the detail shots.” With plans to keep the account going, presenting a curated gallery of the fruits of Tong’s laboured research, fans of 1990s Prada had better hit the follow button on @prada.archive immediately.