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Miu Miu Autumn/Winter 2023
Miu Miu Autumn/Winter 2023Courtesy of Miu Miu

Miu Miu’s Viral Show Was Fashion at Its Most Personal

For Autumn/Winter 2023, it seemed the Miu Miu girl of the past few seasons had grown up, maybe got a job in a library, maybe gone a little wild with her mussed-up hair and skew-whiff spectacles

Lead ImageMiu Miu Autumn/Winter 2023Courtesy of Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada’s Autumn/Winter 2023 Miu Miu collection was all about looks. Not to say it was superficial – with Prada? Never an option. And also not to say the focus was purely on the clothes – although, in a stripped-back set featuring video artworks by the South Korean artist Geumhyung Jeong that also centred around garments, there were certainly few distractions from them. But rather, what Miuccia Prada had done, and in turn wanted us to do, was to really look, to really examine things, to try and find something new.

Looking is, of course, an instinctive act – we look before we talk, we see before we even understand what we are seeing. And when we learn to see, we then in turn learn that we are seen – and become interested in how we look, when others are looking. It’s a Möbius strip of thought, this whole thesis. What it also led to at Miu Miu was Prada looking back at her own looks, referencing – lightly – pieces from the past, and transforming them, as well as items we look at everyday. Bonding, needle-punching, special constructions all gave an importance to items like twinsets or grey marl hoodies, while other looks seemed to shrug off anything below the waist, sending models out in piled-up coats and tugged-up tights. “The point with this collection was to look at fashion from a personal point of view,” said Prada before the show. “I am always interested in how people look at things, their consideration. Why people are attracted to certain ideas, why others repulse them.”

Many pieces in this collection seemed everyday – for a number of seasons, at both Miu Miu and in the Prada collections she designs alongside Raf Simons, Miuccia Prada has talked about notions of reality inspiring her work, a wish to shift away from fantasy and theatrics and create clothes both inspired by and engineered for real life. Here, the idea seemed to be that an outfit may look ordinary from afar but that, once you take a harder look, it would reveal the intricacies of design that betray Prada’s hand. Proportion was key – skirts rode low, tights high, with panties exposed underneath, sometimes piling-up Miu Miu labels on three consecutive waistbands, crawling up a torso. And fluttering chiffon separates and spiky kitten-heel patent slingbacks were throwbacks to a collection Prada called Sincere Chic back in 2000. In short, it seemed the Miu Miu girl of the past few seasons had grown up, maybe got a job in a library, maybe gone a little wild with her mussed up hair and skew-whiff spectacles.

This invitation to look – at the very end of the fashion season – was to find something off-kilter and maybe even slightly unnerving in how these clothes were designed, how the outfits were assembled. The contradictions and contrariness in the contrasts of outerwear and underwear, the hybrids of the two, fabrics pretending to be one thing when they were another, and vice versa. Really, nothing was quite what it appeared to be – and the inclination, rather than simply looking, was to grab ahold of these clothes to try and figure them out for yourself. Which was precisely Miuccia Prada’s point. “It’s an invitation to reconsider,” she said. “How fashion and fashion design can change perceptions of things we think we know.” If anyone consistently confounds our expectations of clothing, and through clothing, it’s Prada.