Please stand back from the edge, it’s the Miu Miu line

ELLE's review from Paris Fashion Week

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.

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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.

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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.

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