Miuccia Prada knew before any other designer that fashion was going to enter a post-trend era. One where personal style reigned and emotional resonance replaced the mind-numbing action of being told what to do, or to wear. This way, when the consumer was to invest in the clothes that would define her wardrobe, they wouldn’t be pegged to a box into which she is neatly supposed to fit with a shelf life akin to that of organic produce.
Trendless clothes from the school of personal style would provide breathing room, a recyclable world of opportunity beyond the season at hand that could be interpreted more than one way. That could say more than one thing. That could transcend the bounds of taste and start to feel more like second skin.
This was extremely evident at Miu Miu last season — the proof is in the raccoon earrings! — and has been an undercurrent supporting the evolution of Miuccia Prada’s main collection since the feminist show of Spring 2013.
What was presented in Milan earlier today was an eye feast for certain from a creative genius, no question.
Shall we count the flights of fancy? There were exposed lace up corsets shown over jackets, half tied half not (because it’s your body, dammit, constrict it how you please), and sailor hats (bucket hats?) that almost took attention from the coin purses worn as chokers or attached to waist belts where corsets did not apply. There were messenger bags and grey wool tights — some decorated by argyle, others by black and red diamonds. And this was just the tip of the Miuccia-berg. The skirts, the prints, the fabrics, the themes, the sunglasses! — what are we to make of it?
And what happens when we pull it apart?
Are we left with a collection of clothes we feel as though we’ve got to have (whether by way of literal consumption or simply subscription — a sort of money-free social proprietorship)? Is that the problem in a post-trend reality where the style cues are vast, but not as easy to follow?
Are they supposed to feel easy to follow?
Sometimes I wonder if we’ve conditioned ourselves to hold designers who we respect up on pedestals that don’t allow for them to simply produce what’s in their hearts. Do we expect too much of them because we feel like we’re supposed to be flabbergasted over and over again? If we feel the flabbergast, is that the sign of a strong collection, or is it simply medication that narcotizes that pit of nothingness? If we don’t, are we disappointed because — though we know it’s not necessarily good for us — we haven’t experienced the drug’s high?
Photographs via Vogue Runway; feature collage by Emily Zirimis.