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SS17 finale: Life’s a beach at Miu Miu

Sandra Halliday
06 October 2016

You never know what to expect with Miu Miu collections. Will it be a classic? Will it be a bit, well, odd? Will it be full of light and airy clothes for autumn or cosy coats for spring? Well one thing was clear yesterday, this was definitely a spring/summer show as Miuccia Prada sent out a collection that had Hot Weather Style written all over it.

Was it a classic? Not quite. There have been better Miu Miu collections but that’s not to say it wasn’t good. There was lots to wear and lots we can learn to love, even if few of the pieces felt like the kind of must-haves that will still be trading at high prices on eBay in a few years’ time.

Despite the rather grim-faced models, it looked like a collection that’s about having fun, as well as one to wear for everyday living. I’m not so sure whether we’re meant to take those retro ‘swimming cap’ hats seriously. Personally I love them (I actually bought a 60s one off eBay a few months back, but I’ve never actually worn it, my aversion to never getting wet slightly getting in the way).

Whether the Miu Miu girl/woman will dive into them is another question. Some will. But then there are always the diehards who’d wear a cardboard box if Miuccia Prada, Jonathan Anderson or Alessandro Michele told them it was cool. They looked good on the models yesterday, it remains to be seen whether they’ll translate to real life.

But as I said, those swimming caps certainly made a point about this collection’s celebration of summer. Even some of the coats were cut like towelling beach robes than the luxe pieces they actually were.

So it’s no surprise that the collection was a gift to the swimwear sector as model after model showed up in vintage pin-up-style one-piece swimsuits and bikinis that were more about posing than swimming.

But despite the pin-up edge, the hand smocking also made it feel quite girlish, a mood that was extended into simple dresses and blouses (and in a season when the blouse is a star item, simplicity is a rarity).

We also got 40s-style ‘secretary’ dresses in retro repeat prints, plenty of deckchair stripes and duotone 60-style floral print seen across neat tailored coats as well as swimwear.

For anyone seeking everyday essentials (an easy skirt, a shirt, a shorts suit, plain pantsuit, or coat) there was plenty to go round to as Miu Miu kept on the practical side rather than the dressing up edge that has been a feature of so many shows this season.

What really stood out, of course, were the shoes and accessories. That’s where the money is, after all. Those swimming cap hats were the most noticeable example. But the chunky platform wedges with cutout sole detail, the simple slides with floral or giant bow embellishment, the beach towel-like stoles, the transparent high wedges with shell embossed soles (a pattern repeated on squashy clutch bags), the garishly modern decorative belt buckles and the 70s-modernist sunglasses all felt strongly commercial.

It was an enjoyable end to a catwalk season that has at times verged on the totally ridiculous and downright ugly. I remain a Miu Miu fan.

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