Too Edgy. Miu Miu AW17

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Back in 2014, System Magazine asked Miuccia Prada to explain the differences between her main line and Miu Miu. According to the interview, designing at Miu Miu is much less complicated for Miuccia, whereas at Prada, it’s sometimes a struggle – the label is a synonym of ‘sophistication’, both for women’s and men’s fashion. Miu Miu’s  soul is naive; spontaneous; immediate. For autumn-winter 2017, I didn’t get those three terms at Miu Miu. Edginess is definitely something that accompanied a Miu Miu girl throughout the years – but this season, it’s too much. Not that I don’t have a soft spot for purple faux-fur (especially when it’s used as a carpet) or fluffy hats. But I doubt that this overdose of 70s psychedelia and 30s technicolor does any good. Bold prints, over-sized collars, tiaras, geek boots: although all of them are Miu Miu signatures, this time they feel senseless combined together. In other words, the collection looks ridiculous. And surely incomparable to Prada collection (which was presented a few weeks ago in Milan), where the designer took us to another level of femininity.

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I’m a Woman. Prada AW17

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Miuccia Prada is a woman. And she celebrates every aspect of that fact in her autumn-winter 2017 collection. Like an over-sized room of a teenager, the show’s venue was covered with film posters featuring female characters, while the guests sat on beds, instead of chairs. This room wasn’t just a room – it summed up a woman’s life, her experiences, desires, morals. Whether that was participating in Communist marches in 70s Italy or being a little girl who wanted to dress like a glamorous Milanesa, Prada‘s life is like a gripping book. But the concept wasn’t about her. It rather praised women she knows, she admires. Their assertiveness, point of views, femininity and approaches to life. Whether dressed in candy-pink dress with ostrich feather inserts or a boyish corduroy suit. Hand-knitted scarves, biker hats, woven bras, sea-shell necklaces – those pieces aren’t future must-haves of an it-girl, but an intimately rare access to Miuccia’s various associations of a woman. This show is the most beautifully executed moment of the season, so far.

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Men’s – Peace Scouts. Prada AW17

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My inspirations are so many and so complex that to summarize is impossible. But I would say that the main sentiment that I had is going from bigness to smallness; from the big deal of the installation—big architecture and construction—the big deal of fashion, the big deal of art, the big deal of everything. And to go opposite. More human, more simple, more real . . . the desire for reality, humanity, and simpleness.” Miuccia Prada is one of the most consciously thinking person in the entire fashion industry, exploring a number of ideas at a time and conveying them into a visual and, of course, wearable concept. 

Looking at her autumn-winter 2017 collection for men (and pre-fall 2017 for women), you had a feeling something intense, yet mind-feeding was going on in Prada‘s mind. Even more personal than usual, yet relating to 21st century’s society, Miuccia let calm earthy colour palette and natural materials into her collection. Leaving behind hi-tech of men’s SS17 and elegant decadence of women’s SS17, her boys and girls were the peaceful scouts; soldiers of love. Existentionalist black turtlenecks and biker hats (although Prada didn’t want to straightly reference the 70s) took us back to 1968’s student strikes in Paris, and in entire Europe, where the youth opposed to traditionalist values, like capitalism or imperialism. Fight for yours’ and others’ well-being pacifically. Go against the system, by breaking it as a laid-back modern-day hippie. Little details, like sea-shell necklaces and wooden pendants symbolised coming back to the roots, the nature; slouchy beards and unbrushed hair were the  everyday reality, which is still full of beauty.

Although Prada, as a brand, is struggling financially due to falling revenue, Miuccia isn’t going commercial. Corduroy trousers (she loves corduroy, as you can see, and I’m starting to love it, too), psychedelic prints on bags, fur shoes. While the guys wore suede and cognac leather, female models took a spin on boldly-coloured floral mohair skirts, cardigans and socks. Going normal, and settling down mentally (or at least, in a remote forest house) is on Prada’s agenda.

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Prada 365

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The spring-summer 2017 campaign showcases five separate visual identities, five Prada realities: Pathways, Frontiers, Stations, Exits and Terrains. Each represents different scenes from the same story, a sequence of imagery. In a challenge to the singularity of traditional campaign imagery, the multiplicity of interpretations will continue throughout the year. The visions behind each of these Prada images – and behind this new advertising concept as a whole – echo the ever-shifting needs and desires of everyone’s lives, every day.

Prada, 365.

Photographer: Willy Vanderperre Models: Saskia De Brauw, Giedre Dukauskaite, Dylan Fender, Jonas Glöer, Amanda Murphy, Nimue Smit, Sara Grace Wallerstedt, Kris Grikaite, Oliver Houlby, Kiki Willems, Wang Hong Yu, Masao Parris, Jing Wen, Wallette Watson & Jude Law.