miu miu girls toughen up

The message was clear: life is not a fairytale.

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06 March 2019, 9:23pm

If Little Red Riding Hood was to enlist in the Army, she’d fit right in to the line-up of Miu Miu girls who came down the runway yesterday. Although the set (a collaboration with London-based Kiwi artist Sharna Osborne) was a pyre of videos of Miu Miu’s faces-of-the-moment frolicking around among flowers with sweet naiveté, the clothes that Miuccia Prada showed took a distinctly different approach.

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Little Red was toughened up, cloaked in khakis, protectively hooded and strapped into backpacks and clunky lug-soled boots that grounded the whimsical floral-embroidered dresses that she didn’t want to leave behind. Her handbags were carried in the crook of the arm, freeing up the hands for more important things. But really, it was all about the cape: shearling-lined hooded parka ones; camo capes with military epaulettes; sweeping navy wool with gold buttons; homespun-in-the-woods crochet capes; autumnal tweed versions with camo-marabou collars. There was even an after-dark black velvet cape, effortlessly paired with a camo sweater and a taffeta puffball skirt.

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What was it about the item that Miuccia loved so much? “The camouflage was a symbol of rebellion and connecting to nature,” the designer explained. “The capes are historical, a reference to the past and the future… an invitation to take care of human life… and the environment.” She also mentioned the word “protection”, which seemed like an apt one for what she has been thinking about these last few months. At her Prada show, Miuccia talked a lot about romance and fear -- how love stories can be a remedial antidote to political extremism and the very real threat of war. Yet here at Miu Miu, widely considered grown-up Prada’s younger sister, the girls were dressed for battle, which re-framed the label’s usual pretty, saccharine sweetness.

The message was clear: life is not a fairytale. The youth of today is certainly not under any illusions -- they are hyper-aware of racial and sexual inequality, as well as the environmental issues that are shifting their values. That’s why Miu Miu’s caped crusaders are ready to navigate the dark woods ahead of them; confront the big, bad wolves out there; and most importantly, see the wood from the trees.

Miu Miu a/w 19
Miu Miu a/w 19
Miu Miu a/w 19
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This article originally appeared on i-D UK.