A reaction to and reflection of reality, an economy, a freshness found in iterations of eternal, universal garments. The Spring/Summer 2022 Miu Miu collection by Miuccia Prada is an exercise in referencing and researching reality, using the existing to create the new.
MIU MIU SPRING/SUMMER 2022: BASIC INSTINCTS
October 5, 2021: The foundations are classic - trousers, sweaters, shirts, blazers, suits and sheath dresses, absolute archetypes of everyday dress. A new balance of proportion is found through cutting into pieces - retaining the believable character of each, yet altering their relationship with the body. Trousers are cut into abbreviated skirts, sweaters and shirts carved out to reveal the body. Edges are left raw, elements of construction exposed in commemoration of the spontaneity of these actions. The notion of reworking existent pieces extends to a collaboration with New Balance - the 574 sneaker is re-proposed in white, khaki or blue denim, with raw-cut edges.
Embroideries reflect the decoration of night-time attire, embellishing dresses and suits. Everyday alongside every night, the aesthetic language of day and evening dress each serve a purpose and have a meaning within life. An antidote to meaningless novelty, the collection examines fundamental realities of dress, the needs and wants of people from their clothes. It is an amplification of actuality - a focus on reality.
Alongside reality, fantasy: the physical and virtual spaces of the Miu Miu show are punctuated with works by the artist Meriem Bennani, whose body of work explores intimate relationships mediated through the camera. Here, that idea is echoed and overlapped with another interrelation, of women and fashion. Conceived alongside the collection, Bennani commands control of the Miu Miu live stream via a series of filmic artistic interventions starring her own mother. These fantasy sequences are mixed real-time into the broadcast of the show to blur lines between virtual and real.
Underscoring these ideas, the interior of the Palais d’Iena is interrupted rather than transformed. Its architecture remains, a runway devised by AMO snaking through the centre, the audience balanced on Eames office chairs as an echo of the Palais’ continuing function as place of work. In the Palais, Bennani installs binocular-shaped screens to cut through the space, reforming and re-editing the physical experience of the show and projecting her films into real life. As with the clothing of the collection, these filmic cuts create a new work - editing reality, altering perceptions.
PRADA SPRING/SUMMER 2022 WOMENSWEAR SHOW: SEDUCTION, STRIPPED DOWN
September 24, 2021: A seduction through reduction. For their Spring/Summer 2022 Prada collection, co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons consider ideas of seduction, of the expression of sexuality though clothing. A process of stripping down clothing leads, inevitably, to the body, emphasized or exposed.
Antecedents of clothing are explored, recontextualized. Pieces trace ideas and outlines of dress - the memory of a train, the bones of a corset, the curve of a brassiere. They are stripped to their bare essentials, their core. Their architecture is inherently tied to the body, and therefore to seduction.
An imprint of the past always shapes our present. Like shadows or memories of garments, the stitched bones or lacing of corsets form new pieces, abstracting from the body rather than holding it, skin bared beneath. The idea of a train is stripped back to a spontaneous gesture of couture silk. Each negate their traditional connotations of restriction - they are reconsidered, rethought, confronted. The body is freed.
A vocabulary of elegance of evening clothing is here translated to an entire wardrobe, its materializations - satin double, scarlet lace - used in unanticipated contexts. By shifting viewpoints, the meaning of these signs and signifiers are questioned. The fantasy inherent in evening wear is counterbalanced by the reality of the everyday.
Synchronous and simultaneous views epitomize the modern world: we observe, interact and communicate in a multitude of manners. The Spring/Summer 2022 Prada show is staged, simultaneously, in the Deposito of the Fondazione Prada, Milan and in Bund 1, Shanghai. Within corresponding decors, video screens engage each show in dialogue with the other, physical and virtual realities. They bring two groups of people, on two sides of the world, together in a modern community.
With the ambition of repurposing furnishing used for the Prada Group’s shows, the materials utilized in the set of the Prada Spring/Summer 2022 Womenswear shows – designed by AMO both in Milan and Shanghai - will be upcycled, finding a new life after the event. These materials will be donated to Meta - a circular economy project based in Milan, which offers sustainable solutions to waste disposal within ephemeral events by collecting and recovering materials for selling and rentals - as well as to Dandelion Child Development Center - a non-profit organization based in Shanghai, which recycles materials to build libraries for children in both rural villages and urban areas in need of educational resources.
The materials used for the set-up of Miu Miu Spring Summer 2022 show will find new life after the event thanks to La Reserve des Arts, an association offering a service of collection, recovery of raw materials and decoration waste from fashion shows, making them available to professionals and students of the cultural sector.