Please stand back from the edge, it’s the Miu Miu line
With the thunder of a tube train approaching, and Annie Lennox’s mournful lyrics, ‘You can hear the sound of the underground trains…’ this season’s MiuMiu woman stepped out onto the metal grid catwalk.
She wore a strict navy sailor-back coat – a piece that recurred throughout – a bit Edwardian looking with its calf length skirt, but updated with large silver buttons. The shoes were also exaggerated updates from the turn-of-the-century but with tractor-tyre-tread rubber soles. Around her neck, a spotted scarf, bowed just so at the throat. On her legs were stripy tights.
This look was essentially repeated, tweaked here and there, for the duration of the show. The coats became a belted and zipped parka, a long belted and zipped parka, a strapless zipped and belted parka, a zipped off-the-shoulder bomber jacket (quite fabulous in orange). There were the occasional belted tube dresses, before we returned to the fitted, zippered, belted, sailor-back coat-dresses, now worn over long striped skirts. Imagine no-entry sign stripes in black and yellow or black and red. Then the spots started: yes, on narrow zippered coats. Black spots on pink, black spots on yellow, black stripes on blue. Each coat came with a coordinating spot or stripe handbag, spot or stripe neckerchief.
It looked like Miuccia Prada had moved Miu Miu away from what it has become in recent years – a very luxe line, with its own defined contribution to the fashion conversation, on a par with its Prada sister line. These clothes were like a single broad-brush stroke; they didn’t have the subtle handwriting of Miu Miu as we have come to know it. They were fun and punchy, almost pantomime-like with their Punch and Judy stripes and Edwardian fairground feel. Of course, there were great clothes here – great coats! But it’s harder to picture it on Miu Miu’s front row – January Jones, Zoe Saldana, Lea Seydoux and Rebecca Hall and much easier to imagine it being worn by the ardent Japanese fashion devotee, the fashion photo-bloggers and fashion’s please-blog-me brigade.