July 12, 2018
Italian fashion label Prada is turning to aspirational realism in a film showcasing the wearability of its pieces.
"Summer Illusions" tells the story of a summer romance in three parts. The leisurely pace of the film captures the laid-back spirit of Prada’s pre-fall 2018 collection.
“There is a real cinematic and atmospheric feeling to this short film,” said Jessica Michault, senior vice president of industry relations at Launchmetrics, Paris. “It has the production value of a big-budget offering.”
Ms. Michault is not affiliated with Prada, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Prada was reached for comment.
The short film is set in the chic coastal town of Comporta, Portugal. The variety of landscapes are reflected in the colors and textures of Prada’s collection.
“It evokes this hyper-aspirational, super-real idyllic setting for a summer vacation,” said Rony Zeidan, founder and creative director of RO New York. “The woods, the lake, the beach, a man, a woman and Prada.”
Prada's Summer Illusions tells the story of a romance in three parts
As the film begins, it is early morning and the only audible sounds are nature’s soundtrack. Part I of the vignette is titled "La Discrezione," or The Discretion in English.
The couple separately enjoy their breakfasts and explore their surroundings before meeting at a dock.
In part II, "L’avventura" or The Adventure, instrumental music is introduced and the tempo quickens. The man and woman walk in the woods and romantically traipse among a sea of sheets drying on a clothesline.
They arrive at a group of docks. The camera lingers as the woman buttons her partner’s shirt, while in another scene he is wearing it unbuttoned.
"La Promessa," The Promise, takes the couple to the cliffside beach for the third act. They enjoy an intimate picnic and stroll by the water.
Prada's pre-fall 2018 campaign video features wearable pieces like cotton blouses. Image Credit: Prada
Delicately, the man adjusts the strap of his partner’s dress. The vignette ends as they walk towards the cliffs.
Throughout the film, directing duo Marco+Maria longingly focus on the featured Prada clothing and accessories, such as a studded nylon belt bag and cotton blouses. The product imagery naturalistically fits in with the short as a whole.
“It’s nice to see the Prada pieces being used, worn and displayed in a natural and real world setting, seeing as the brand is know for its strong, statement making designs,” Launchmetrics' Ms. Michault said. “It underlines this idea that Prada can be worn everyday and in a variety of settings, even a summer vacation at the beach.”
With its more grounded approach, Summer Illusions is a change from Prada's more surreal campaigns.
"Prada is the quintessential Italian brand that tends to have a futuristic twist to its imagery," RO NY's Mr. Zeidan said.
Prada introduced its new eyewear collection in a campaign featuring a television commercial within a short film. Along with playful changes in perspective, Prada Cinéma Evolution asks viewers if they are the observer or the observed. The featured sunglasses and eyewear have oversized cat-eye frames, and a vintage touch is seen throughout the short film (see story).
In Prada's Summer Odyssey, a group of young friends spend time together at classic hangout spots such as a diner and an arcade. Diverting from typical peppy summer scenes, Prada's short sets laid-back scenes with a group of stoic models. The three models also participate in somewhat retro activities, from dialing a rotary telephone to watching a vintage television and playing cards (see story).
Like Prada Cinéma Evolution and Summer Odyssey, Summer Illusions is more of a longform narrative than the campaigns other luxury fashion labels may share.
"I think the slow and engrossing pace of the film is perfectly in keeping with Prada’s ability to change the fashion conversation on all fronts," Ms. Michault said. "While everyone else is speeding up and giving brand fans bite-sized morsels of digestible content, Prada wants you to savor its savoir-faire."
The film's relaxed but indulgent spirit is a fitting strategy for this time of year.
"This video is soft, emotional, human and relatable," Mr. Zeidan said. "Who doesn’t want a Prada summer?"