As I walked to work with my husband this morning we realised we’d done it again: we’d dressed pretty much the same (see pic below for proof). With our blue jeans turned up and tan Grenson boots, you’d think we planned to match from the waist down. But it’s something we’ve always done by accident, ever since we went on one of our first dates nearly twenty years ago and both turned up in near identical vintage black jackets (that we didn’t know each other owned). And while that all felt terribly tragic at the time, now it’s totally en vogue to dress like your partner, as demonstrated on the catwalk in Milan at the Prada show on Sunday.
Now, it’s MENSWEAR that’s showing in Milan at the moment, so why were there women on the catwalk? "Gender is a context and context is often gendered" explained Prada in her show notes, and that with this collection she aimed to “measure what genders share, what they take from each other”. As someone who steals a LOT of ideas from men's wardrobes, this is music to my ears.
The outfits themselves weren’t identical – this wasn’t a collection about literally borrowing from the boys or sticking a man in a kilt (you can keep that one, Becks) and there were plenty of dresses and skirts on offer for the girls – but with the simple uniform-style aesthetic and palette of mostly black, grey and navy, you could imagine a cool couple rocking a pair of these looks to intentionally look alike.
And perhaps with the rise of dual-gender shopping experiences (think The Kooples, Folk), this way of showing collections on the catwalk will catch on with other brands, too. Prada certainly plans to continue showing her menswear collections in this way, and I for one am excited to see what comes next. Maybe I’ll get me and Mr Rochell a ticket to next season's show…