A FASHION TRIBUTE TO HARLEM’S ENERGY AND CREATIVITY OF THE 1920’S
[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]rada’s Iconoclast Series launched in 2009 and was renewed with four installments by visionaries in the publishing world. The latest of the series was curated by Alex White of W Magazine who applied her interpretation of the 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week at the Prada store on Broadway. The second was interpreted by Kate Grand of Love in London at the Old Bond Street location. The third vision was applied to Prada’s collection in Milan at the boutique on Via Monte Napoleone by Olivier Rizzio who works independently for V and the last installment was a vision by French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld at the Avenue Montaigne Boutique in the fashionable city of Paris.
Fast-forward to February of 2014 and the successful series continued with a colorful and thought provoking nod to The Harlem Renaissance. Curated by Edward Enninful, Fashion and Style Director of W Magazine, the theme builds on the original vision for the Milan boutique and the energy and creativity of the 1920’s.
The Harlem Renaissance was a time when African-Americans flocked to New York City to contribute and experience the cultural and artistic renaissance taking place within the community. The result was an explosion of new music, poetry, artwork and disciplines that appealed to the Black aesthetic. The era now represents a time of creative freedom that gave birth to legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Josephine Baker. Enninful says the zeitgeist of the 20’s is parallel to the inspiration behind the SS14 collection.
“Miuccia Prada’s work always began with a conversation. Drawing from this notion, I looked to the Harlem Renaissance for the SS14 Installment of the Iconoclast series,” Enninful explains. “As The Harlem Renaissance was a period of original thought – when creative minds inspired and embraced a new cultural identity. I felt this was an appropriate narrative to incorporate into this season’s Prada collection.”
The exhibit of black and white mannequins remixed the women’s store with clothes from the SS14 collection and archived looks to recreate the ambiance of a 1920’s club. Pieces included dropped waist dresses, satin head pieces, beaded dresses in shades of blue and brightly colored graphic print skirts. Notes of Jazz flowed through the men’s store where black and white mannequins were also dressed in a mixture SS14 collection and archived pieces. The looks recreated The Harlem Renaissance style with double breasted jackets, pinstriped pants, and page boy hats. The décor included gaming tables, cocktails, and 1920’s food.
Find out more about the Iconoclast series at: prada.com/en/the-iconoclasts
PHOTOS: EMMA SUMMERTON | COURTESY OF PRADA | WORDS: M.G.