Tuesday, February 2, 2010
If you didn't already know that Miuccia Prada thinks of Miu Miu as an expression of her inner girl, you'd probably be able to guess it from the label's pre-fall collection. With its narrow-shouldered plaid jackets, tiny little matching skirts, and girly knee-high knit socks, it had a sincere feel for the nymphet dolly birds who populated long-forgotten pop flicks like Joanna and The Touchables back when Prada was in her teens. It wasn't only the abbreviated proportions of the tops and skirts—or their school uniform-y correctness—where the sixties made their presence felt. Pants were narrow-cut, flared, and cuffed—very Miss London. And the wool used is apparently, in Italy at least, irrevocably associated with that decade. But nothing is ever so literal in Pradaworld. To anyone who couldn't care less what girls wore Back Then, the re-proportioned duffel/parka hybrids were an adorable now-ish take on outerwear. Anyway, mixing time and place is a Prada specialty, and it was more forties glam than sixties pop that insinuated itself into the collection's use of fur (as tippetlike collars or as the sleeves on a jacket) or into the leopard-printed sheepskin jacket.
As an alternative to lace, there were handcrafted cable-knit dresses to match the mittens and knee socks that paired with everything (including the buckled stilettos). These summed up the girlish spirit of the collection, except when a shaggy fur tunic was thrown over one knit dress, mixing the pure and the pagan. The belted closings on that tunic had buckles that locked, the same hardware used to close the jackets on Miu Miu's correct little suits. Were they Prada's perverse, playful revisioning of a twenty-first-century chastity belt? In this Twilight era, the idea ain't so crazy.