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The new genderless of Miu Miu

«Girlishness can be wider, viewed as a state of mind, free from gender binaries»

The new genderless of Miu Miu «Girlishness can be wider, viewed as a state of mind, free from gender binaries»
Via: Tumblr | aspiringcoconut
Via: Dazed
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Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Via: Dazed
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Via: Dazed
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Via: Dazed
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Via: Dazed
Via: Dazed

Yesterday, during Miu Miu's FW22 show in Paris, Miuccia Prada brought a new aspect of her revered brand to the runway: genderless fashion. It was a limited series of looks, which therefore left much more room for womanswear, but still remains very important for the brand that until now had focused on a female-only audience by discontinuing its menswear line with the SS08 collection. The reason behind the brand's expansion into genderless is easy to guess: the time is ripe for Miu Miu's unique aesthetic to appeal to an increasingly broad and contemporary audience. «Girlishness - a fundamental part of the Miu Miu persona - can be wider, viewed as a state of mind, free from gender binaries», read the show notes. And, after all, the male audience was also clamoring to wear Miuccia's signature creations through the brand: already at the announcement of Raf Simons' arrival at Prada many had speculated that the designer would have given new life to the line and, even if this was not the case, these hypotheses testify how much Miu Miu menswear was missed by fashion insiders.

During its early life, which lasted about a decade, the men's collections of Prada's "little sister," if we're allowed to call it that, had built a cult following: its youthful, relaxed tailoring, eccentric details, technical accessories and idiosyncratic sneakers had anticipated by years what would be the menswear of the future. Yet, because the line closed before the advent of secondhand and even before the digitization of fashion, today his men's creations are almost unobtainable - a fact that has only increased their cult status. It therefore seems natural that this stylistic heritage, accumulated over ten years of existence, has become fertile ground for a new cultural reading, made in light of the fluidity that reigns in Gen Z culture and the enthusiasm with which Miu Miu and its archives are followed by the public. But the appearance of the genderless line in yesterday's show also has to do with empowerement: «A power can be found in girlishness and femininity, a strength in tenderness, a wisdom in youth», the notes continue.

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Via: Tumblr | aspiringcoconut
Via: Dazed
Via: Dazed
Via: Dazed
Via: Dazed
Via: Dazed

In its heyday, Miu Miu's men's line was born as a sort of collector of nostalgic references dear to Miuccia Prada who, in her collections, evoked an adolescent mood through informal details such as sandals with socks matched with tailored flared pants, tricot wool total looks, finishes that simulated the signs of time and the fading of the sun on fabrics, mixing gray suit pants and white t-shirts, patchwork shirts, leashes used as belts, psychedelic graphics. There was always a link with Prada's collections, whether harmonious or idiosyncratic, but Miu Miu was always more spontaneous and playful, much more colorful and easygoing than its Prad-esque counterpart. An emblematic case is the SS05 collection of the two brands: both have a link of similarity (military-style overshirts, brightly colored prints, tailoring mixed with whimsical details) yet Prada's collection is much more formal and sustained while Miu Miu's is more carefree and unconcerned. These are subtle similarities and differences, but they evoke, for the first brand, an office outfit with over-the-top details, and, for the second, beach outfits with a touch more finesse and sophistication. 

Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05
Miu Miu SS05 vs. Prada SS05

Why the line was discontinued in 2008 is unclear. Surely the men's label was growing much slower than the women's one: it was the early 2000s, menswear was not as strong as it is today, and the luxury public was on average much older than it is now. It's hard to talk about Miuccia Prada's disaffection towards Miu Miu's men's line - maybe we could say instead that, as time went on, Miu Miu's inspirations flowed into Prada's menswear, which increasingly mixed "man" and "boy", opening up to all the various possible experimentations in the dialogue between the formal and the youthful. Things were different for womenswear: the playfulness and effervescence of the Miu Miu girl could coexist with the intellectuality of the Prada woman. Yet the menswear line in its original run possessed a vaguely prophetic modernity with some of the pieces in many of the collections looking like they were produced last year or even yesterday. 

But after having wondered about the disappearance of the original menswear line, we should perhaps ask ourselves why Miu Miu has now gone back to genderless, thus addressing the entire fashion public. Surely the famous cropped outfit seen last season bears some of the responsibility: a combo of top and miniskirt that turned the heads of three quarters of the fashion industry and that at one point was also worn by men. And given the popularity that the SS22 collection has had with the entirety of the audience, an audience that is far more diverse, varied, layered and above all mentally open than in 2008, it's clear that the brand wanted to offer them what they were asking for. The genderless of Miu Miu skips the dualism of the previous collections and opens a dialogue with a new kind of luxury customer - perhaps this is why the looks seen yesterday seemed a natural offshoot of the women's collection. If the experiment is successful, we can expect to see even richer and more contemporary proposals on the brand's runway at the next Paris Fashion Week.