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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Miu Miu’s Modernist Glamour

Godfrey Deeny
March 09th, 2011 @ 3:12 PM - Paris

The final major show on the four-week and four-city fall 2011 fashion circuit was Miu Miu in Paris on Wednesday, March 9, and while it obviously referenced '40s glamour, it was the most modern collection of all in terms of silhouette and line.

Though designer Miuccia Prada is arguably better known for her innovative use of fabrics, her unerring sense of what is new and her inspired meeting of art and fashion, this was her showing off her skill at cutting and inventing new shapes.

That much was clear from the opening, which consisted of superlatively well-shaped coats and jackets, offered with large heroic shoulders, off set large buttons and micro pointy collars. Adding to the novelty were large romantic bows and twisted Obi belts, making every look classy yet audacious.

Frequently the coats were shown without any skirts, adding edge and allure. Also resplendent were the silk dresses cut at the knee, embroidered with images of daisies, daffodils or swallows, all of them somehow very French, albeit designed by a quintessentially Italian creator.

However, not every look worked. A few gathered tops in wool were rather frumpy and sometimes the cut was just too bulky. However, no Miu Miu show lacks appetizing accessories, and this was no exception. A favorite was a brass trimmed curvilinear bag made in felt – the fabric of the season for handbags – that had great class. Glitter added a faintly trashy touch but always with a certain panache, especially in curved heeled glitter high-heels, the best of them tied with wide gross grain ribbons.

"I wanted a sense of glamour, but dusted down, and with a new attitude, and more romance," explained the designer, sipping champagne on a front row bench of the emptied setting.

Rarely has the location of fashion synched so well with the collection. Prada hired a striking modernist government building near the Trocadero, one that had never been used for a runway show. Designed by the distinguished French rationalist architect Auguste Perret, its vigorous, poured concrete style, and curvy stairways and entrance were an ideal home for this important, curvilinear collection. A revolutionary neoclassical architect hosting a revolutionary neoclassical designer, both of them playing their A Game.

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