Short coats with pert buttons, iron-flat hair with dolly girl eye makeup and a whiff of London’s Carnaby Street in the 1960s — the MiuMiu resort look was familiar — yet tailor-made for the 21st century.
As the models strode out with gladiator sandals climbing towards bare thighs and psychedelic patterned dresses, it was Miuccia Prada’s artful mash-up of fashion decades that revitalised the past for this show on the eve of Paris haute couture.
A graphic crochet tab across the bust? It was pure ‘70s laced with today’s fresh love affair with hand-work. Floaty, full-sleeved blouses with skinny-hip pants were a new take on androgyny. The sour colours, mixing orange and pink, or greens from olive drab to emerald, were pure Prada and her 1990s ugly aesthetic.
It was the digital element, blowing up Paisley prints until they looked like grass green plankton squirming on a mud brown surface, that stopped the show from feeling retro — even if the bucket chairs lining the geometric carpet runway suggested another revival.
But Miuccia’s skill is to make the commercial seem artistic. The line-up for the dinner – where the flower vases and bread plates were carved in wood — had an arty feeling. Add Steve McQueen, Uma Thurman, Roman Polanski with his actress wife Emmanuelle Seigner, designer Marc Jacobs and Prada’s art and architecture friends — and the recipe for success was as certain a hit as the Italian menu.