Beauty, care, love. Prada’s exploration of these eternal, timeless values of humanity - universal emotions - inspires both the Fall/Winter 2023 collections and campaigns. They are brought to life through the metaphor of flowers - both totems and gestures of tenderness and affection - here reimagined to human size, a scale that suggests otherworldly emotions. Those flowers interact with five actors, all global stars - Benedict Cumberbatch, Hunter Schafer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Letitia Wright and Li Xian - a roster of cinematic idols reflecting Prada’s long-standing relationship with cinema as an expression of cultural ideas and ideals. These figures’ mastery of their own craft enables them to evoke these feelings in both still and motion image - through words, action, even a glance.
An impossible sequence of surreal conversations unfold, between these figures and flowers, a dialogue, literal and visual. Flowers themselves are ageless symbols of a beauty between the everyday and the extraordinary - in and of themselves can be seen as conduits of emotion, physical expressions of the intangible. Their resonance transcends cultures, even language - and here, by virtue of scale, they also become protagonists, living creatures, that can become active participants.
In imagery captured by Willy Vanderperre, each flower, blown beyond life-sized, faces a different figure, teamed in exchanges and dialogues both visual and literal - in the accompanying campaign films, the cast converses with these improbable blooms to a script specially-created by Michael Cunningham - the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours (1998).
Just as these conversations are paradoxical, so the flower itself is a dichotomy - both fragile and strong, precious and quotidian, ephemeral yet eternal, each one unique. A metaphor for humanity, used as an outer expression of our thoughts and feelings, we can find a synergy between flowers and an embodiment of the human experience - always implied, here made concrete. A real emotion, evoked through these seemingly unreal images.