In the past year, the Fashion Week calendar has changed dramatically, but one could argue the change was long overdue. Scarcely altered since conception, Fashion Week has acted like a giant trade show that gathers buyers, editors, clients, and VIPs to the same city season after season.
With social distancing came freedom. No longer consigned to a single city, fashion houses started experimenting. We saw avant-garde digital shows, artful video shows, and far-flung locations, but among the more ambitious examples we find Miu Miu’s Fall/Winter 2021 presentation.
Way up high in the northern reaches of Italy is its crown: the Pale Mountains. Coated in snow, the Dolomite mountain range is home to a sprinkling of ski resorts, and the occasional campsite of brave-hearted adventurers. It is here that Miuccia Prada chose to stage her show. The remote, secluded locale is close to Mrs. Prada’s heart, as she often takes walks through the mountains. What she realized on her personal treks, especially when the weather got bad, is that it takes a brave soul to venture into the unknown.
For that reason, her Miu Miu girls this season were ready for anything. Decked in oversized quilted ski parkas, faux fur yeti boots, Fair Isle knits, muppet-like mittens, and quilted balaclavas, no dramatic change of weather could turn them from their mission. Fans of the brand will recognize many elements from Miu Miu’s Fall/Winter 2014 show; the matelassé quilting and ski jackets echoed previous work from the house, but came in more exaggerated silhouettes this time around. Delicacy was juxtaposed against all that heavy stuff, coming in the form of bustiers, and silky slip dresses with spiked straps.
The casting and styling were great, the latter coming from the recent addition of Lotta Volkova who brought her keen knowledge of the house’s visual codes to the fore. To truly grasp the effect of the collection, you have to watch the video. The eerie light thrown by the snow and Pale Mountains almost makes the still images look like they were shot in front of a green screen. In the video, however, you see how truly marvelous the setting was, and how ambition and bravery were the core of what the collection achieves.