Page 162 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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A different expression of one singular vision, Miu Miu
is the instinctive, playful counterpart to Prada.
Offspring of the same design mind, the two lines share
environment, twistedly bourgeois spirit and even the set
of rules they obey, but MiuMiu deliberately, mercilessly
breaks them. Miuccia Prada brings femininity to the
extreme with Miu Miu, in a light, quixotic way.
Right from the start, in 1992, Miu Miu was in fact
intended as her private territory of expression; a
Apropos, the designer chose her own family nickname
to christen the label. At a time when Prada was reaching
its minimalistic Zenith, Miu Miu offered the
symmetrical opposite: a naïve, almost bucolic take on
dressing-up. But that was just the start. Believing in
fashion’s endlessly morphing, ever-changing nature,
Miuccia Prada soon tied glamorous restlessness to the
Miu Miu DNA, making it sensual and rebellious, in a
well-to-do kind of way.
The feeling MiuMiu conveys is always spirited, young,
meaning with the adjective a state of mind, not a matter
of age. As a designer, Prada focuses on mind sets that
inform styles. For her, the immaterial always shapes the
Miu Miu has been a wandering, fashionable nomad for
quite a while. Shows have been staged in New York,
London and Milan.
But it was with the final settlement in the Paris calendar,
in March of 2006, that it came into a force of its own.
Confronting the fashion world in its undisputed capital,
Miu Miu used the city’s magnificent sets as a backdrop
to its very own experimentalism, all the while conveying
Parisian couture savoir-faire through an unprecedented
stress on elegance and sophistication, with a quirk.
Miu Miu is avant-garde in spirit: concepts of
indoors/outdoors, city/countryside, masculine/feminine,
couture/street, past/future, ugly/beautiful are blurred;
prints create ruptures, peaks and counterpoints; shoes
are focal, always adding an odd, ironic element;
boundaries between high and low, trashy and elegant are
deliberately ignored. The vernacular of bourgeois
dressing is continuously turned on its head; junctions
between clashing parts, however, are shown rather than
Painstaking attention to detail creates the perfect frame
to insert oddities, contrarieties and deliberate errors. The
recipe is all about wit and esprit de finesse.
Turning fashion into a state of mind, Miuccia Prada has
built a world around Miu Miu.
She invented not only a trademark style, but also a new
way to communicate. Ground breaking advertising
campaigns have set the pace, in this sense. Initially shot
in neo-realistic fashion by Corinne Day and Ellen Von
Unwerth, the Miu Miu adverts soon developed their
uniqueness thanks to the choice of celebrities as models,
the first being Drew Barrymore in 1995, followed by
Chloe Sevigny. From then on, the cast changed
constantly, and an abstractly narrative style became the
label’s trademark: KimBasinger, Maggie Gyllenhaal and
Vanessa Paradis, to name a few, all starred, shot in darkly-
lit, cinematic situations full of theatrical tension.
After a few seasons of going back to real models, Miu
Miu has opted for the Oscar-nominated young actress
Hailee Steinfeld, shot by Bruce Weber, as the muse of
the new Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2011 advertising
campaign, and for Mia Wasikowska, shot by David Sims
in classical portraiture situations for Spring/Summer
The attempt, always, is to define a vision of femininity
that is fluid and uncontrived.
A dash of airy nonchalance is the bottom note of the
Miu Miu ever-changing essence.
Restlessness keeps things from settling into a staid
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