Miu Miu went hardcore Miu Miu for spring-summer 2022, and this is the best thing that could happen to us this season. There’s a strange correlation going on: the more complex and sometimes over-worked Miuccia Prada‘s main line becomes with Raf Simons, the better and desiable Miu Miu gets. Miuccia’s Paris-based label seems to be going through some sort of unapologetic renaissance. This time, the Miu Miu girl – who might equally be a mature woman – goes through a teenage angst phase. Imagine being in your mid-twenties when the pandemic hit, just about to make your debut on the corporate scene; your pressed skirt suit, ironed shirt and unwrapped nylons left abandoned in your closet for what felt like an eternity. When the world reopens and WFH is replaced with IRL, will you pull out that dusty uniform as if nothing happened? Or did something change within you? For Miuccia Prada, it’s a no-brainer. When it comes to the age groups whose formative experiences were interrupted by the lockdown period, continuing on the same track as the generations before them is no longer a given. If the seismic events of the last year-and-a-half taught young people anything, it’s to question those values, norms, and, indeed, dress codes. When the Miu Miu woman returns to the office, she’s chopping up all of those preordained rules, quite literally. Today, Prada marked her own return to the office by seating her guests in ergonomic work chairs and treating us to a back-to-work wardrobe for the post-pandemic age. Like rebellious private school kids cutting up their uniforms, she shortened the length of corporate skirts and tops – frayed edges in tow – until there was barely anything left to crop. It was as if waistlines and skirt hems – and necklines and top hems – had a magnetic attraction to one another, drawing ever closer as the show progressed. Midriffs were elongated to a degree that would have made Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera collectively blush in the early 2000s, if, of course, the very sight of those low-riding baggy trousers wouldn’t have made them faint first. In the process, miniskirts migrated into top territory and morphed into belted bandeaus, and someone came to work in just a beige bra and a matching pencil skirt, the elastic band of her underwear poking out. All this, mind you, in the fabrics of a businesswoman’s wardrobe. Prada hasn’t been doing post-show interviews this season due to Covid-19, but she did grace us with a few well-chosen words: “It’s so normal, but for me it’s so strange. Strange is not strange anymore,” she said with a shrug, and toiled on with her celebrity greetings. Certainly the new generations seem unfazed by the overt sexiness of the post-lockdown mentality. In case there are any apprehensive dressers left in this ‘new sexy’ climate, Prada did throw in some very viable new alternatives to the corporate wardrobe. Cable knit skirts with high slits worn with shirts and faded oversized knits made for a realistic take on ‘the generational suit,’ as did a stone-washed leather blouson with a matching box-pleat skirt. With Miu Miu’s angsty take on women’s business dressing, it’s exciting to see how those styling tricks trickle down to real wardrobes in near future.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.