PARIS, France — “Nobility and misery” was the line that Miuccia Prada fed journalists after her MiuMiu show on Wednesday. Nobility there was in her reference to Gobelin, the finest tapestries of the 16th and 17th centuries, which appeared repurposed as bomber jackets and maxiskirts, even jean jackets. And that was the clue to the third part of the collection’s equation: fun. (The misery was clearly a conceptual point because there was no evidence of it on the catwalk, unless you count the apocalyptic undertow of her declaration, “Dressing is what’s left.”)
Considering that Autumn/Winter 2016 began with men’s shows in London, it was thoroughly decent of Miuccia to offer an upbeat envoi to the season, like sending her audience off with a pop song on their lips. By Nick Kamen perhaps. The limpid-eyed popster burst onto the scene in 1985 looking like a baby James Dean with his starring role in a Levi 501’s commercial, where he stripped down to white boxer shorts to wash his jeans in a crowded Laundromat. (Madonna fell hard and wrote a song for him.) First look on the MiuMiu catwalk: denim jacket, white boxer shorts, hair in a greaser’s quiff, like Kamen’s. Was that the most specific inspiration we’ve seen this season?
The Fifties echoed on in the men’s names embroidered on coats and jackets, bowling shirt-style — Bob, Alain, John, Roy, Jack, sounding like movie heartthrobs — and the curvaceous sex bomb dresses, side-swagged and perched on killer heels. English sex bombs, mind. Diana Dors, not Brigitte Bardot. Lara Stone was her very embodiment.
In fact, quirky Anglophilia informed the collection in silhouettes that ran from Regency tails to Victorian propriety, Edwardian elongation to aristo riding gear, in humble-but-dressed-up items like Edie Campbell’s fluffy slippers (kitchen sink, drizzled with rhinestones) and sturdy countrified oilcloths (cuffed with fox) and long Argyle sweaters.
Like a louche-living Miu Miu girl had tipped out of bed in a stately home and dragged on the lord of the manor’s cast-off clothes (and wrapped herself in a Gobelin while she was at it). That morning-after-the-night-before mood sat well with the last show of the season. Tired, but happy.