What Is Miu Miu Made For?
Trends come and go, embraced or detested, but Miuccia Prada is eternal.
Alongside the resurgence of über-90s Sex and the City style, Miu Miu has been at the forefront of the Y2K revival. The see-through silhouettes and breezy fabrics suggest a playfulness to the put-together working woman. Hailed as the reigning brand for coquette girls, both their archival and contemporary collections are defyingly — and always — on trend.
Hyperfeminine yet contradicted in its Blokecore aesthetics, designer Miuccia Prada combines European athleisure and girlish academia, as seen in the brand’s pragmatic use of reading glasses and cross-body bags. Disheveled hair contrasts the structured elements throughout the collection; layered cardigans buttoned to the neck are tucked into a pair of transparent culottes. An oversized coat à la The Royal Tenenbaums barely covers the model’s nipples. Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2023 is a versatile collection for the girl who has too much fun on a night out and has to wear her club dress to the office the next day. But is Miu Miu feeding their audience an impossible fantasy?
Many people may know Miu Miu as the sister brand to Prada, but Miuccia Prada differentiates the two brands by her design processes. In a 2014 conversation with System Magazine, the fashion house’s namesake revealed her thoughts on this separation: “Miu Miu is not as complicated and thought out as Prada. Rather than being young, Miu Miu is immediate. Prada is very sophisticated and considered; Miu Miu is much more naïve. The solution, when I am working on Miu Miu, has to come immediately, instinctively, spontaneously with whatever is available at the moment.” This reflection raises the question: Is Miu Miu creating trends or following them?
The F/W 2023 collection would seem to any viewer to be satisfying in its accurate read of the current trend cycles. Who wouldn’t want to wear a transparent, polka-dotted halter dress out on the town right now? After all, it’s clear that the brand’s creative team has a finger on the pulse; actress Mia Goth opened the show and garnered much social media attention for the buttoned gray cardigan and logo-embossed midi skirt that she wore down the runway. Though a criticism of the brand and its recent releases has been one of hypocrisy; maybe the disheveled look Prada is selling is simply that — a marketing scheme.
The price point contradicts the notion that anything about this collection is unintentional. After all: Miu Miu and Prada are luxury brands. This is why the assertion that Miu Miu is “naïve” or “spontaneous” juts against reality — feelings of frustration from customers who are not allowed to look so glamorously lacking in composure, complete with messy hair and skirts tucked into stockings. The person spending their days and nights at work to be able to afford such pieces of clothing is likely not showing up to work with their underwear on display or their sweater buttoned unevenly (so as to flirtatiously show off the underwire of their bra). Playing with trends, though, is something that the brand necessitates in its more experimental design when compared to Prada.
The Miu Miu site defines the collection as a means of perspective: “A point of view as an act of intervention and invention. The Fall/Winter 2023 Miu Miu Collection by Miuccia Prada is focused on the instinctive process of looking, ways of seeing, and how an act of observation can, in turn, transform the object of its focus. Looking is a window to thinking. Technique and materialization can actively change how outfits are visually read, and how we understand them.” The Fall collection certainly uses the conjecture of material and construction to make a piece more interesting; a top that one might wear to work immediately becomes sexy and seductive when it is made of see-through silk, billowing against the body and warranting a meeting with HR.
Of course, the question as to whether Miu Miu is creating or merely following trends is one that will have to remain unanswered. However, like the collection itself suggests, perhaps there’s perspective in everything. When looking at colors, clear is the absence of opacity, the absence of material. Something that is transparent, that we have the ability to see through, does not reflect any light — the light merely passes through. The F/W 2023 collection, as well as Miu Miu as a whole in its current branding, can be thought of in a comparable way: trends come and go, embraced or detested, but Miuccia Prada is eternal. 🌀
You can watch the whole collection below.