The Prada Fall/Winter 2021 Campaign is a Captivating Meditation on the Senses

It’s hardly been discussed in any overarching context, but during the COVID crisis, one of the radical shifts in the everyday way we process the world has had to do with our senses themselves. Specifically, many of the infected lost their ability to taste or smell; our visual interaction with friends and loved ones was mostly reduced to a relatively small computer or smartphone screen; and, well…touching became possibly fatal.

Choosing what to wear, of course, has always been a sensorial experience – tactile, optical…and perhaps we even like how a garment sounds when we’re wearing it and moving about. So the timing could not be more visceral for Prada to explore the intersection of fashion and the human senses in a new short campaign film and shoot for the Fall/Winter 2021 men’s and women’s collections, designed by Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, respectively.

Ms. Prada, it should be noted, has long evinced a remarkable ability to illuminatively intellectualize or socio-politicize fashion, in the process elevating style to a significantly higher plane. But here the exalted Milano fashion house is proffering pure, primal sensuality above all. Indeed, bereft of any musical accompaniment, the clip takes us on an intimate journey of fabric touching, leather stretching, and even the tinkling of earrings, before it all enigmatically concludes with a tight shot of the Chicago cityscape, featuring an equivocal projection on an unidentified skyscraper, the latter left seemingly open to interpretation.

The collection itself exhibits a textural quality that seems to speak to an exigent need to surround ourselves in the touchable and sensual, after eighteen months of anxiety mostly edging sensuality out of our daily experience. Fittingly, it’s all beautifully, sensually shot by venerable British snapper David Sims, with the overall campaign seeming to beg the question “Do you wanna touch?”

And we think we all know the answer to that.

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