Miuccia Prada, a long-time champion of contemporary art, commissioned women’s portraits from six contemporary artists to line the runway of her Spring/Summer 2014 show in Milan last week. Muralists Miles “El Mac” Gregor, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, and Stinkfish, and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet were selected because of their distinctive street art style and approach to figurative representation. The designer imposed no constraints on the artists other than asking that they interpret themes of “femininity, representation, power and multiplicity” in their pieces, together titled In the Heart of the Multitude.
Taking the theme of the urban street a step further, the runway—designed by longtime collaborator Rem Koolhaas’ AMO—was surfaced with industrial rubber. The audience was seated centrally, looking outward at the murals and the models walking down the runway that encircled them. The murals, conceptually inspired by the political street art of L.A., Mexico, and South America, were in turn used to inspire Prada’s clothes and accessories as well. Some of the images were used directly to accent sheath dresses, skirts and coats. Oh, and if there was one other thing to take away from the show aside from the political commentary on women and power, it is that come spring, we will all be sporting (no pun intended) tube socks. I, for one, can’t wait.