If theres a surefire way to get film bros interested in fashion its by partnering up with a mastermind autre. That's exactly what Prada did when it collaborated with Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn for its S/S 23 womenswear runway show in September. Foregoing the obvious route of a capsule collection of t-shirts slapped with collaborator approved graphics, this partnership saw the the director create an immersive set for the show along with a short film dubbed ‘Touch of Crude’.
Working with Nicolas Winding Refn shouldn’t come as a surprise for any true Prada superfan. Not dissimilar to co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ penchants for subverting the mundane, Refn’s early work is defined by a gritty realism before exploring more surreal themes through experimental visuals. No stranger to the world of fashion, Refn’s 2016 psychological thriller The Neon Demon starring Elle Fanning as an up and coming model in Los Angeles saw the director explore the industry's dark underbelly.
Similar themes are touched on with 'Touch of Crude', which sees a Prada-clad woman move into a new house before she's visited by a floating Black Box. The already eerie atmosphere turns into a full-blown horror as the otherworldly entity acts a peephole unlocking multiple universes. Once peering into the box, our protagonist is sent on a voyeuristic journey through the lives of multiple women in neon lit visions that verge on the horrifying to the glamorous and the banal.
Accompanying the film is the brand’s S/S 23 campaign shot by longtime Raf Simons collaborator David Sims. Keeping things cinematic the campaign draw upon characteristics of classic Hollywood and European films. Further bridging the world of cinema and fashion, the campaign stars an ensemble cast which includes actors Vincent Cassel, Hunter Schafer, and Letitia Wright.
After it's S/S 23 runway show debut, the film went on to premiere at the Lyon Lumière Film Festival in October and the Geneva International Film Festival and Stockholm Film Festival in November 2022. Now Prada fans worldwide can see the entire film on Prada.com, and those lucky enough to be in Milan can catch it on the big screen at the Fondazione Prada’s Cinema on 11-12 January.