We are at the very end of the autumn/winter 2015 season and Paris Fashion Week and perhaps not a moment too soon. This has not been the most exciting season ever and some of these final shows have done nothing to lift it up. What does it say when what is supposed to be a younger-oriented (they don’t like the word Juniors) line like MiuMiu looks more mature and put together than what heretofore has been a refined label in Louis Vuitton? It is definitely time for this season to be over, and it makes me sad to feel that way.
What Miuccia Prada presented this afternoon wasn’t out of line with what we expect from this label. The colors were bright. The silhouettes were exaggerated (and almost always cut down before hitting store shelves). The fabrics were new-age. And the shoes took some getting used to. All of those elements were present and we would be crazy to suggest that there ever be a MiuMiu collection without them.
The particulars are, well, let’s say a they were a little rough on the eyes in places. Granted, the coats, with their Herringbone tartan juxtaposed with a strip of colored faux python, were pretty incredible and easily the strongest part of the collection. The bright yellow faux croc print? Yeah, we could have gone all year without needing to see that. Puffy-shouldered short sleeve sweaters over long-sleeve button-down shirts? Only if the theme of the party is bad 60s fashion ideas. Actually, that might have been the theme, given the over-sized button-up tops we saw. The look was somewhere between Little House on the Prarie and a Boeing 777. Now, imagine that in bright blue with equally bright orange accessories.
A person seated near me said, “It doesn’t look so bad in the dark.” Of course, she was referring to the instances where the silhouettes were done with darker tones, which did provide them some air of refinement. I found the unintentional reference more accurate, though. Turn off the lights and the clothes don’t look bad at all.
Don’t get me wrong, the Houndstooth/tartan/tweed pieces are very attractive and very well designed, especially when they are backless. These are some pieces that would definitely enhance a young woman’s wardrobe. Unfortunately, there are all these other pieces that pretend to be crocodile and aren’t, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if they weren’t so shiny and bright. Multi-colored leopard and python prints, while instantly identifiable as trademark MiuMiu, are still a bit challenging for the eyes when styled as they were this afternoon. Perhaps they wouldn’t be quite so difficult on their own.
Is it bad that I preferred the wallpaper in the show space to the animal prints?
Again, like the Louis Vuitton show before it, this is a label that panders a bit to its Asian audience. The same person near me was certain, and probably accurate, that this collection will sell very well in Japan. Unfortunately, that strategy has not worked well for the label over the past two years. Year over year sales have missed projections at times by as much as 30 percent, largely due to a downturn in the Chinese economy. The entire Prada house needs to experience strong global sales this year and I’m not convinced that this collection is going to help any because its appeal is too narrow.
We end this season with something other than a smile. I think I actually miss having the positive vibes of a Hermés collection wrapping up the four weeks of well-dressed chaos. There will be a lot of changes coming in September, though, as houses continue to swap creative directors and the very structure of fashion week undergoes revision. Not every season is going to be a winner and we’ve been fortunate to not have one this boring in quite a while. So, we’ll enjoy the pieces that are truly good (there were plenty of them) and look forward to what comes next.
After all, nothing in fashion ever stays the same.