Metallics. Iridescence. Sheeny shinyness. Layers. These are the components that make up the outfit equivalent of Shangri-La for me. The main facilitator? A Miu Miu jacket from the current A/W 14-5 collection, looking all delicious and tempting in-stores and online, stuffed with pastels, parkas and plastic brilliance. How did I get it? I was very honoured to be asked to be “Girl in Miu Miu” for a few days, leading up to Miu Miu ‘s S/S 15 show in Paris, taking over their Girl in Miu Miu Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr accounts. Francesca Burns, fashion editor of British Vogue, was the previous Girl in Miu Miu in Venice, and a definite hard act to follow. I did my artsy-fartsy best to put up some lush Girl in Miu Miu moments. The reward? The jacket, which when paired with other equally shimmery things such as Marques Almeida x Topshop‘s collabo taffeta trousers (I know everyone is falling hard for the shredded denim but don’t ignore the awesome 90s silk taffy bits!) and Alexander Lewis’ Palm Springs-inspired resort mermaid tail shirt dress, then becomes my kind of outfit alchemy. Emphasis on the “my”. Add a bargain £40 Tao by Comme des Garcons find from Rag Tag (from her debut solo A/W 05-6 collection no less) and some belatedly bought Meadham Kirchhoff x Nicholas Kirkwood glitter wedges from that most beloved SS12 collection (from a recent Nicholas Kirkwood sample sale… ) and there you have all the things that make me beam, beam, beam. Oh, and thinking I’ll be able to easily convert these Ek Thongprasert bejewelled silicone peach danglies from pierced earrings to clip-ons, they’ll be the final finishing touch to this overly decorated layer cake.
Miu Miu A/W 14-5 metallic jacquard jacket, Alexander Lewis resort 2015 iridescent dress, Marques Almeida x Topshop taffeta trousers, vintage Tao Comme des Garcons knitted top, Meadham Kirchhoff x Nicholas Kirkwood SS12 shoes, Miu Miu sunglasses, Ek Thongprasert earrings
The past is filled with violent joys and broken toys,
Laughing girls and teasing boys.
But don’t try to touch me, don’t try to touch me
Cos that will never happen again.
Tomorrow? Well, tomorrow’s a long way off.
Maybe someday I’ll have somebody’s hand.
I referenced Shangri-La in the title of the post as a nod to the main soundtrack component of Miu Miu’s S/S 15 show. The American girl group trio Shangri Las and their 1966 spoken word track about teenage heartbreak “Past, Present and Future”, layered over Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is one big telling clue into Miuccia’s mindset for Miu Miu’s latest collection. As is the way she threw in other jarring sounds from Norwegian noise rock outfit Moon Relay as well as the soundtrack from John Waters’ 1974 classic Female Trouble. How else to decipher what seemed like a medley of Miu Miu classics – remixed of course. Cinched in plaid belts and pencil skirts, 1950s housecoats and 18th century Bucol floral silks were prim. Ruffled lingerie-inspired crop tops, exaggerated bow mules and a drawn on brow courtesy of Pat McGrath were not. In fact they were decidedly bad. These ladies slash vamps stalked down the OMA-designed runway underneath misleading church-like wooden arches, with a knowing look in their eyes revelling in their “female troubles” (“They say I’m a skank but I don’t care… I’m a jerk – I like it fine!” so the song goes) The juxtaposition between the two made me think of vintage glamourous mugshots, yesteryear girl gangs and teenage rebellion of every era. In other words, well versed tropes for Miuccia. After the questionable faux-feminism of Chanel, seeing Miu Miu the next day was like being brought back on to more stable feminist ground. It’s almost default for Miuccia to think about the complexities of female empowerment or on the most basic level, be cleverly empathetic to how clothing can make a woman feel. It’s why Miu Miu and Prada collections are often loaded with subjective references, for the onlooker. Something is always simmering beneath the surface, which is why I so enjoyed my temporary stint as a Girl in Miu Miu. At the very least, I was within a five metre radius of the woman herself backstage at the show. Still not said “Hi!” yet. Maybe I never will.
Was I ever in love? I called it love…
I mean, it felt like love,
There were moments when…
Well, there were moments when.
Woman in a plaid skirt, 1946 photographed by Nina Leen for Life Magazine
From an April 20, 1942, LIFE story about proper skirt-hem lengths, photographed by Nina Leen
Teenager in Tokyo, 1965 photographed by Michael Rougier for Life Magazine
Hell’s Angels in a bar 1965 photographed by Bill Rey for Life Magazine