miu miu's raw, radical reality

On the last day of Paris Fashion Week Miuccia Prada presented a SS20 collection of stripped back beauty.

by Osman Ahmed
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Oct 2 2019, 1:52pm

Much in the same way that the Prada show opened with a simple cashmere sweater and gauze skirt, Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu collection began with something equally raw: an off-the-shoulder woolly cardigan tucked into a navy pinafore dress. The hair was old-school mamma, the red lips offered the suspicion of glamour. Who was this woman? She looked as though she’d the sweater for decades, the dress a household apron. She could be in an Elena Ferrante novel, or a character played by Anna Magnani in a Rossellini movie. The look was repeated throughout the show, though the dress came in a more opulently-hued satin or the cardigan shrunken to bralette proportions. It kept evolving, but was essentially the same. That simple act of repetition was enough to make the message clear: less is more; reuse and recycle; do it yourself.

It seemed like Miuccia was continuing her exploration of what constitutes timeless clothes at a time when disposability and waste is an urgent issue facing fashion brands. Prada has taken substantial steps to become more environmentally-conscious, such as staging annual sustainability conferences and committing to using recycled nylon. It’s only natural that it’s on Mrs Prada’s mind. “Something raw, simple, naïve, not a big deal,” was how she described the collection. “[It was] suggesting a way of dressing, and after, they’re free to do their own thing.”

Could it possibly be that Miuccia was imagining the idea of the Miu Miu girl getting creative? Would she be customising her clothes and imbuing them with her own sense of colour and personality? After all, there were floral patterns on leather skirts, paint-splattered as though they had been done at home, and mismatched buttons on oversized jackets (perhaps they were sewn on to create a more flattering silhouette) and random panels of smocked cotton to add a sense of drama to otherwise simple skirts. The point is that this show was about an idea of radical living, one that you can do at home without having to buy anything at all — to take something that already exists and add to it yourself. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Not all of us are brilliant designers — but Miuccia Prada is. So if all else fails, you can always rely on Miu Miu.

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This article originally appeared on i-D UK.