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“Practicality means strength, but that strength can be combined with dreams; the two do not have to be mutually exclusive,” Miuccia Prada explained in the digital press conference that followed the Miu Miu fall/winter 21 screening, Brave Hearts. As she transported us from our lockdown reality to the snowy landscape of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Miuccia placed a whimsically romantic filter over the great outdoors as interiors collided with exteriors and the protective fused with the seductive.
As padded bustiers sat alongside silk-satin slip dresses, mittens and mountain boots fit for a faux-fur yeti, looks continually challenged our perceptions and expectations. Under the guise of practicality, the language of sportswear fused with fashion and the practical romanced through exaggeration. Seen through the prism of Miu Miu, the fragile can be reinvented to become brave, the utilitarian can become beautiful and pleasurable and the decorative can suddenly have reason, new purpose. Strength and fragility, courage and aggression, these are realities inside our fantasies.
Launched in 1992, Miu Miu — the seminal sister line to Prada — has always sought to express a younger, more reactive spirit while asking the same thought-provoking questions around gender, beauty, dress, and power. “Prada is very sophisticated and considered; Miu Miu is much more naïve,” Miuccia explained when System asked about the difference between her approach to her two lines. “The solution, when I am working on Miu Miu, has to come immediately, instinctively, spontaneously with whatever is available at the moment.” In both Prada and Miu Miu, Miuccia continually challenges our preconceptions, refining and redefining understandings of womanhood. For fall/winter 21, the girls of the Miu Miu Mountain Club delight in their daydreams of dualities, encapsulating fragility and courage, mixing comfort and coolness, functionality and sensuality. While mirroring the realities of modern womanhood, the sartorial mix affirms that far from being mutually exclusive, power and sexuality are old companions.
While reading like a call-to-arms of collective strength and a community of womanhood, the show felt like a love letter to the natural world that many of us have reconnected with during the global pandemic. “Nature is the one thing that heals you,” Miuccia added, “I love mountain adventures.” While the much maligned Marble Arch Mound might be the closest LN-CC HQ has to a mountain adventure, we retreat into the woods as Calgary-born photographer and artist Kristie Muller captures the daydream realities of Miu Miu FW21 at dusk.
Photography Kristie Muller, @kristie.muller.
Hair, make-up and model Steph George, @steph___george