Miu Miu brings soft butch back for AW22
Mrs P picked up where she left off last season with micro-mini proportions, while also introducing a tougher energy into the mix.
Images courtesy of Miu Miu.
Where do you go once you’ve staged the most viral show of the season? For Miuccia Prada, looking ahead and changing course of direction has never been a problem. In fact, it’s where she excels. Six months ago, her chopped-up Miu Miu high school uniforms and corporate workwear made headlines. They struck a chord with a generation hankering for Y2K-flavoured
skimpiness, elevating the banality of beige, and grey and blue poplin to incendiary heights as high as the hemlines of those teeny-tiny miniskirts. So, what next? Unafraid to reference the success of her last collection, Mrs P simply expanded on it by introducing a sportier, more gender-inclusive version of it. It takes a lot of confidence to stand your ground, aesthetically speaking, and why shouldn't she? That last collection, despite becoming so ubiquitous as to earn its own Instagram fan page, is still a banger. Miuccia Prada isn't finished with it yet.
For AW22, the Miu Miu girl — always pretty in chiffon and crystals — is a Miu Miu boy, too. Not seen since 2008, when it was shuttered, Mrs P decided to bring back men into the Miu Miu sphere, albeit with a contemporary outlook on gender. It may have to do with the amount of men who have been going into the brand’s boutiques asking for those low-slung chinos and abbreviated cable knits (in fact, Kim Jones bought most of last season in its entirety).
But this isn’t a Miu Miu menswear revival. Back when that was around, Miu Miu was divided into two genders, two seasons and the rest. In 2022, it’s all part of the same pink-papered parcel. Not officially ‘menswear’, this collection marks a new gender-fluid approach for Miu Miu that disposes of any old-fashioned ideas about binary divisions. Instead, sizes will be expanded for retail – for boys, girls, non-binary folk, and anyone else. It’s all one big happy family at Miu Miu now.
Come autumn, they’ll all be wearing crisp white tennis skirts, shrunken Argyle sweaters, ballet flats and gymnast leg warmers. The summery deck chairs that formed the seating at the show seemed to suggest a holiday in the sun, a game of tennis followed by balmy evenings in crystal-strewn string vests and a lightweight coat thrown over for good measure (it’s autumn after all). Halfway through the show, the 1920s-tinged Riviera look suddenly shifted to bulky shearling aviators, upcycled leather jackets with a beaten-up patina, and multiple-buckled boots and belts toughened up the otherwise tennis-club primness and crystal-frosted, sugared-almond dresses. Contrasts! Miuccia Prada loves them! Perhaps the biggest one was the idea of summery deck chairs and the lightness of tennis whites for an Autumn/Winter collection.
No stranger to instinctively sensing the zeitgeist, Mrs P also tapped into one of the season’s most overarching trends: butchness. The show, at times, looked incredibly butch. Sure, there were a whole lotta dresses and miniskirts, but among them were low-slung leather trousers (underwear exposed, of course), heavy leather boots, and oversized checked-tweed coats that looked like they were borrowed from someone’s dad. It tapped into the spirit of butch realness we’ve seen elsewhere, from: the plethora of white tank tops at Bottega Veneta to Prada to Chloé, or the huge leather jackets and shirts-and-ties seen at Louis Vuitton. Sometimes, it’s been hard and other times, incredibly soft. Something in the air is hinting towards a Soft Butch revival, least so Mrs Prada with her collections at both Prada and Miu Miu. If history is to be believed, we can take that as a surefire promise.