Thursday 14th April

| BY Dominic Cadogan

A Look Back To Miu Miu Autumn 2013

Fashion is a funny industry sometimes. Not funny as in har-de-har, tell me a joke, but funny for something which most people see as frivolous as changing hemlines it can be taken very seriously. Which got me thinking, can fashion actually be fun?

Cast your minds back to AW13. It was a weird time for fashion. You probably wouldn’t remember, I know I barely do. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what I had for breakfast this morning. So I will explain briefly. With fast fashion speeding up more and more each season it seemed that a lot of designers were feeling the pressure. Rather than focussing on striving towards the new, most were looking back to the archives which made everything feel rather nostalgic and melancholic – definitely not fun.

As per usual we all turned our heads towards Miuccia Prada for the answers – but had even she fallen prey to the curse? For Prada, she showed a collection imagined through the archives – old prints, old Prada girls, old shoes all in a dark, film noir setting. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t amazing, it just lacked the new, the exciting.

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However everything Prada wasn’t, Miu Miu made up for. Interestingly, Mrs P. noted at the time of the show that she had very little time to put together the collection and that it had come together in the shortest amount of time, working on instinct rather than overthinking. Perhaps that was the key to creating a collection which was futuristic, forward thinking and most importantly – fun.

From the strip lighting to the Eurythmics soundtrack, the collection seemed (to me anyway) to be an homage to travelling. Where were the girls going? Imagine it’s the year 3013 and you’re an air hostess-cum-sailor and you’re travelling to a neighbouring planet for a party. What would you wear? Miu Miu AW13 pretty much has you covered.

It was a collection largely based around coats, but from the opening look – a navy and black slightly cinched coat with a sailor collar, paired with an over the knee skirt, striped stockings, silver lug soled platform heels topped off with a bright yellow polka dot neckerchief the tone was set for a collection which looked to the future through the past, with hints of fun.

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And the contrast of colour only added to that. The elongated silhouette in navy dominated the looks but the small puffs of yellow, pink and blue ruffles gathering at the models ankles drew the eye and added an extra dimension. The same was for the stockings, “Those stripy stockings have different associations, from prostitute to schoolgirl” was the word from Mrs Prada. And what did that mean? Well everything and nothing.

At times it felt as if the collection could be tip toeing into the ridiculous, take the large, white ostrich backpack slung over Lisa Verberght’s shoulder. You could out your entire life in there, and the kitchen sink. But it didn’t take away from the collection at all and added more comedy if anything. It wasn’t practical, but comical. Everyone is doing backpacks so why not do the largest and most luxurious backpack imaginable? I could almost imagine the twinkle in Mrs P’s eye as she edited it into the show.

At the end of the finale Miuccia tottered up the stairs with a floral fur stole wrapped around her, huge grin on her face. And maybe other designers should take a leaf out of her book, maybe it’s not about crumbling under the pressure of fast fashion but rather throwing caution to the wind and having fun, working from instincts because if you’re not having fun why bother?

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Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans

www.miumiu.com