Miu Miu was one of the best things that happened this season. Since Miuccia Prada works with Raf Simons at Prada, she seems to have more spare time for the sister label, because the last couple of collections are just delightful. And the autumn-winter 2021 line-up is brilliant in many ways. First thing we know: Miuccia loves the mountains. “I remember being young, when it was hot, and you’d go skiing in your bikini,” she recalled in a digital press conference after her Miu Miu screening. “It looks strange, but in the end, it’s not.” Captured epically in high snow in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, her Miu Miu collection took those memories and feelings for the outdoors to the new extremes. Through a literal lens, it was the most obvious transition from indoor to outdoor dressing you could imagine: a code-switch between lingerie and skiwear. Figuratively, it was post-confinement psychology: a material outpouring of our mental state of undress and the compulsion to cover it up and put our best (and furriest) foot forward. Padded bustiers and bodices proposed alongside silk-satin slip dresses – some with aggressive spiky straps – conceived a kind of alpine lingerie (“For me, very sexy stuff,” said Prada) juxtaposed by mittens and mountain boots fit for a faux-fur yeti. “I walk a lot in the mountains and when it’s bad weather, it’s difficult,” Prada reflected. “Little by little, I realized what I was trying to say: bravery. The dream to do something that’s important and difficult. The clothes are not romantic but the spirit is.” Like animals emerging from hibernation, our return to normal is laden with anxiety, mainly because normal won’t be the normal we knew. As a result, our relationship with clothes will change. The collection offered methods to the madness in meetings between the two poles, like oversized ski suits rendered in dusty pastel boudoir satins, knitted balaclavas (that double as a face mask), girly and glamorous takes on Fair Isle jumpers, and the jumpsuits that Prada has been pushing in a big way this season. The show’s film climaxed in a bonfire ritual in the snow. It felt pagan, like a love letter to the nature the world seems to have reconnected with over the past year, and gained new respect for. “Nature is the one thing that heals you,” Prada said. “I love mountain adventures.” And we love when Miu Miu is oddly fantastic!
“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.