Miu Miu S/S'12 (Hate to Love #3)

I must admit I was a bit grumpy at Miuccia Prada when she proudly announced that the Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2012 collection was designed and created in only 15 days. She said it like it was some great thing, however I wanted to yell (did yell, at my computer) "this isn't Project Runway people!". The statement bothered me because I felt like it cheapened the whole process of designing - it's not a race after all. There are already too many collections in a year and there is enough of a rush, enough of a focus on the 'new', without Prada stepping it up a notch.
Because of this I couldn't look at the collection without thinking about its rapid creation, and in a misinformed act of protest I just dismissed it. Only now, five months after the show was presented, has my head cleared and I can assess it without an angry bias. And with this distance, I have realised it is TOTALLY AWESOME.

I've cropped the images in this way deliberately because the hair, make-up and accessories, while maybe not being objectively ugly, certainly distract a huge amount from the clothes (please notice the diplomacy in my wording, it takes a lot of self-control).

I can pin the excellence of this collection down to a few distinct elements. The first is the upper body wrapping that featured throughout. They've been generally described as stoles, but they depart quite a bit from the traditional night-at-the-opera staple. Nevertheless, for whatever reason having your chest constricted is very elegant, as Ashley Olsen seems to have already figured out.
Another great element of the collection was the off-the-shoulder looks. To be honest they don't seem very practical, but they were what helped push this collection off-kilter for me, and that is always a good thing.

The a-line shape has been a bit of a trend for a while now, but Prada, in the way that only Prada can, completely transformed the silhouette by its own exaggeration, via not just skirts but cape-like coats too. And I have no idea how Prada chooses her colour palette for a collection, but I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall for that process because none of the colours for this show made much sense, yet they all worked amazingly together. I can't help stealing the description of colours from Nicole Phelps: "oxblood, cherry red, cerulean blue".

The patchwork assembly of graphic textiles was also a stroke of inspiration paired against unlikely colours such as metallic lilac (look up). The women of the show were likened to "snarky" (thanks Cathy Horyn) Hitchcock-esque anti-heroines, but I think those interpretations were due solely to the twisted hair, makeup and shoes. When left alone the vaguely folk-ish collection of prints, along with the metallics and crazy shapes and details, speak more for themselves than for some hypothetical character.

Original images from vogue.com

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