A heroic outlook. Inspired by graphic novels, the backdrop to and influence behind the latest Prada menswear show, the first Spring/Summer 2018 chapter of 365 depicts the actor Joe Alwyn* - a young movie star on the rise - as a postmodern Prada hero. Against the imposing backdrop of the domed glass cupola and ironwork struts of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Alwyn is captured by photographer Willy Vanderperre outside Osservatorio, on the roof of the 19th century structure itself. The dynamic poses of his body contrast with the strict lines and stark curves of the architecture and the grey Milanese sky - a striking contrast of the man-made and the natural.
The language of graphic novels - their protagonists and landscapes, their crusades, their crafting of a virtual world of heroic deeds - fundamentally influence this depiction. The architecture of Giuseppe Mengoni resembles illustration, blurring the line between reality and fantasy, Alwyn occupying an imagined landscape where anything is possible. Alongside these are a series of stark, modern portraits situating Alwyn in an abstract white space - like a comic book character in different graphic panels, parallel fragments from different, disparate narratives. Stories within stories.
Establishing Alwyn as a new Prada protagonist, these images elevate Alwyn both physically, and metaphorically. He is a conqueror, an adventurer, an idol. A new, definitely heroic embodiment of the Prada masculine ideal.
* Joe Alwyn was picked from obscurity to play the title lead in Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ in what would be his on screen acting debut. In the same year, Joe played a support role in Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Sense of An Ending’, starring opposite Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling. His list of upcoming films include ‘The Favourite’ from Yorgos Lanthimos starring opposite Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Coleman and ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ directed by Josie Rourke with Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Joe has recently been announced in two highly anticipated films, joining Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman in Joel Edgerton’s ‘Boy Erased’ and starring opposite Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley in ‘Operation Finale’ both shooting next year.