Prada’s 2024 Fashion Week Show Proves Bows Are Still Trending

At the start of the new year, the authors of Ins and Outs lists were fighting. Are bows out? Are bows in?Haven’t they been in since 2022? Does that mean they’re definitely out by 2024? There’s a bell curve to trend adoption, they reminded us with an air of expertise. Have the aesthetics repopularized by Simone Rocha and Sandy Liang and Shushu/tong finally run their course? Prada doesn’t think so.

Muiccia Prada and Raf Simons’ runway show, held in Milan earlier today, was abound with repeating motifs of silk bows. The show sent down the runway a number of shift dresses almost comically covered in bows, the flashes and overhead lights catching reflections against their pearly sheen. These particular looks were pushed all the more to the foreground by the rest of the collection, which involved more serious colors and more somber tailoring. Many of the models wore military-style helmet-esque head gear, embellished with what appears to be bird feathers. The collection featured a lot of long pencil skirts made of suiting material and cropped pastel cardigans and knits.

Prada’s show, like many others this season, also included fur trims and collars, so that’s without a doubt a visual point that big names in fashion are insistent to make happen. One model came out in a seemingly random letterman’s jacket with P13 on the breast, a nod to Prada’s 1913 establishment. The actual garment felt somewhat out of place among the rest, but it did speak to a more commercial trend we’ve seen across shows, which is that bombers and cropped sport jackets of the like will certainly be all over What’s New pages on retail websites by year’s end.

“Sometimes it’s just instinctual, absurd things that we love,” said Simons. “To go skiing in cocktail dresses is not so obvious.”

The handbags in the collection were also embellished quite girlishly, but worn with the sophistication of an old woman, dangling from elbows, hands over heart just within reach to clutch pearls if they were there. This speaks to something larger that we always see from Ms. Prada’s designs, which is to say the Prada aesthetic is born out of a tension between a young, eager ingenue and a woman who’s seen modernity change shapes over and back across a human lifetime. In the year of grown women clinging to the last existing Juicy Tube of their girlhoods and young children selling out Drunk Elephant products at Sephora, there’s something quite satisfying to this expression of relaxed femininity.

And while nostalgia seems to be the thing we are either embracing or rejecting in lieu of imagined futures like the one at Schiaparelli, Simons and Prada don’t actually believe that nostalgia is the best the past has to offer.

“Nostalgia is not the point,” Prada said. “You look at history very much to learn something. It was some intellectual who said taking away a piece from the past is separating it from its cage.”

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