Miu Miu cruises a maiden mile in Paris
Under starter’s orders! And we’re off. The Paris haute couture season began Saturday night on a racetrack with a cruise collection, as Italian label Miu Miu set the pace with a show that was as much a work of performance art, as it was polished fashion.
It turned out to be a superperfecta of a show, where fashion, styling, casting, sound and, above all, staging led to a really great event.
An evening that began with a proper steeplechase round the famed old course located at the southern end of the Bois de Boulogne. A posh Brit racing pundit commentating the horses round the track in Miu Miu’s debut trophy on the turf.
Given the heat wave, with temperatures in the high 30s centigrade, the jockeys wisely took their horses on a canter. Before natural instincts took over and they put in a scorching gallop at the finish.
Racing is of course the sport of kings, and the irony of a Miu Miu race meeting dovetailed with the sense of this collection. Indeed, the pieces presented were an ironic commentary on the current revival of conservative style, seen everywhere from Vogue covers to the whole brash New Money bourgeois style of scores of influencers to the Rich Bitch 80s revival in terms of silhouette.
The cast marched on a wooden catwalk built by Rem Koolhaas into the main Art Deco stand of the racetrack. Take the first model to show; a front-runner in a windowpane-check coat with power shoulders worthy of Alexis Carrington, worn with whimsical khaki military shorts, and Pinball Wizard platforms. Or the chasing pack – massive chiffon blouses with leg-of-mutton sleeves; or metallic leather blousons with huge raglan shoulders.
"Conservatism, and my view of this whole revival in fashion these days," said a somber Miuccia, over a glass of post-show champagne, sitting on the stand’s concrete steps as giant sprinklers watered the parched track.
Her prints were carts and carriages; steeds and stallions. In a brilliantly styled show – 10 e lode to Katie Grand, as the Italians say – almost every look topped by sensational headgear: 30s newspaper boy caps; Marlon Brando 'Wild One' biker looks; jaunty jockey hats and golfers' visors topped with off-beat cloches. This was definitely not a handicap race.
On the backstretch, with Mick Jagger crooning 'Wild Horses', and the heat finally easing off in the French capital, the cast marched back into the stands, where a Miu Miu jockey club had been conceived – tables groaning with Petrossian caviar, oysters and pata negra. And, despite this being a cruise collection, one knew that Paris had begun a fresh haute couture season in style.
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