Yesterday’s Prada menswear show, the final “solo” effort from Miuccia Prada before she is joined by co-creative director Raf Simons, was one for the books. The collection included a mix of artful collarless suiting and smartly tailored sweatsuits. Soft knits were presented alongside technical fabrics without much fanfare. There was even some Linea Rossa–labeled sportswear put on display. Like so much classic Prada, the clothes read as unfussy, intelligent, and wildly wearable. But one of the looks jumped out from the rest.
That look, number 19: a crisp white collared shirt, complete with a thick black tie, worn tucked into a pair of pleated sweatpants, just a shade away from the top itself. The outfit was rounded out with a utilitarian-looking messenger bag and dressy black sneakers. It’s a head-to-toe look that feels tailor-made for our quarantined, work-from-home era. The contrast is obvious, even a little funny: business attire on top and cozy solace on the bottom. You could wear it during a Zoom meeting, and your colleagues would be none the wiser about the secret comfort that lurks just out of view. Each garment on its own feels like Prada—smart and elegant and straightforward—but the totality of the look itself feels precisely of this moment.
This is a peculiar time for how we get dressed. In March, as most of the office workforce moved to work from home, sweatpants and loungewear became the new day-to-day uniform. Fashion fanatics and jawnz enthusiasts, on the other hand, weren’t going to let not leaving the house stop them from wearing their favorite clothes, as well documented on the Working From Home Fits Instagram account. Some six months into the pandemic, wearing unhinged outfits with sweatpants has lost some of its luster.
Perhaps this look is how Mrs. Prada envisions the next year or so in fashion: an aesthetic that blends sharp style and supreme comfort into one harmonious outfit. It’s a mashup of what we might have worn to our cubicle-dwelling jobs, combined with the cozy quarantine fleece that has overtaken many daily wardrobes. Call it Zoom Chic. Leave it to Miuccia Prada, master of filtering complicated clothes through a prism of elegant simplicity, to distill our moment into a single outfit. And in typical Prada fashion, it’s still a look that you want to wear.