Miu Miu’s multiethnic moment
A radical change in casting and a more expansive world view at Miu Miu, in a collection that saw a major designer, Miuccia Prada, responding to our inter-connected world, even as she personally largely shuns it.
Miu Miu, an Italian brand that has for many years shown in Paris, has been frequently, in aesthetic terms, a balancing act between French chic and Italian gravitas. This season was markedly different.
Her cast was majority non-Caucasian, from a famed feminist who used to feature all-white models. And her edit changed accordingly: the darker models wearing headscarves and Afros pulled back in chignons with mannish clothes: crisp super wool blazers and public schoolboy trousers. Mixing cultures, Miuccia’s hung lace sheathes over pretty much everything – from checkered shirts to athletic tops. Though her big idea was summer leather; second-skin dusters and double breasted in the lightest of lambskin finished with checkerboard prints and potted plants.
“I was looking at the world outside, different races and different places. Different ways people dress in Europe or in China, but also the different way races consider beauty. I enjoyed so much working with all the different girls in the show this season. Things grow and change – and we are much more connected in this world,” said Prada, who admitted to surfing the web, but also insisted she had never bought a single item on the internet.
“Not personally, because I have the luxury of not doing that. But my company is taking care of e-commerce,” she stressed. Adding that even her two sons avoided social media. “What they call millennial, has now just become a commercial category! Huh!” she added, noting that she would never have a Facebook or Instagram account. “I value privacy too much.”
It’s a season where the fashion industry has made a pointed effort to discourage zero size models, conscious that they might act as encouragement to anorexia among young women. In Miu Miu, one could not help noting quite a few smaller, curvaceous models, many of African origin; a more curvaceous collection of young ladies than any we saw in a show by a house within LVMH and Kering. These two giant luxury houses had announced they would ban all models under size 34 in France, or zero in the USA, from their shows.
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