Miu Miu: Wartime cabaret
It felt a tiny little bit like a wake at Tuesday’s Miu Miu show, the last to be designed by Miuccia Prada as the sole designer in the greater Prada Group.
Ten days ago, Miuccia took the fashion industry somewhat by surprise by announcing that Miuccia and Raf Simons would from this spring become joint creative directors of Prada, starting April 1. That joint adventure does not cover Miu Miu; however there was a certain fin-de-siècle air about this show.
Turns out Miuccia made her partial departure on a high note; displaying all the unusual angles of Miu Miu’s very particular DNA. A really rather unique blend of classy lass; naughty lady; and occasional working girl. All finished with a large dollop of decadence.
For this cast were very much ladies of the night; strolling out in crumpled satin columns cut with revealing deep gorges; their coats thrown open; teetering on giant platforms, or black mechanic boots with silver spikes.
Then, after acquiring a wealthy lover, they appeared in spiky sheepskin coats; hiding underneath negligée dresses embroidered in crystals, through which one can admire big pairs of bloomers. There were a couple of swimsuits – especially a risqué sailor’s version in navy blue on Bella Hadid. But they were in wool and cashmere, and would never actually dive into a swimming pool.
This was one of those shows where the cast looked charged – clearly enjoying the sense of debauchery about the clothes. All done up with Veronica Lake peek-a-boo, curly, forties hairstyles, again like people whose day only really begins after midnight.
The soundtrack added to the louche ambiance: Time by David Bowie; Bitter Sweet by Roxy Music; Mein Herr from Cabaret by Liza Minnelli. Ideal for these creatures of the night, who marched on a huge custom-made art deco carpet inside the Conseil Economique, located across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower.
All things considered this as admirable show and powerful collection. Which, following a brilliant Prada show in Milan, raises the question, does Miuccia really need a design partner? Maybe a more radical re-set in image and marketing is what's really required?
Which we had planned to ask Signora Prada. But for once, this voluble and witty conversationalist had skipped out of her show immediately. We cannot remember the last time she did that.
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