Despite the weather lately, which seems to suggest otherwise, it is, in fact, springtime. How can I tell, you ask? Birds singing? Purgatory reorganization? Young love blossoming? Nope. I knew the moment that a certain six inch tall, pink satin, sparrow print pair of MiuMiu platform heels appeared on the feet of The Cherry Blossom Girl, my favorite Parisian blogger. Although freakishly tall and waifish, she is in fact a real person (as opposed to a super model), who wears these immaculate pieces of perfection out in the world, passing the rest of us mere mortals on the street. Ah yes, the indubitable arrival of spring has come, I am sure of it, now that the moments of art I fell in love with October last year, far away in the magical land of Paris Fashion week spring/summer 2010, have made their first tentative steps into reality.
Right now we are in the midst of the final phase of this season’s artistic existence. That pair of perfect pink shoes exists in reality. We are now integral members of the product of Miucca Prada’s genius! But, before you get too excited about how much closer your degree of separation from Miuccia Prada just got, you may ask, who is Miuccia Prada? She is the Italian fashion designer who has been the creative genius in residence at both Prada since 1978–founded by her grandfather in 1913–and MiuMiu, its dispersion line, which she created in 1992. But she is also my hero, largely due to my obsession with her most recent spring collection–to which the pink platforms belong.
Its debut last October came out of Miuccia’s brilliant musings on our culture’s obsession with youth. In a dimly lit room complete with gilded walls and a maroon carpet older than I am, to the throbbing “Cat People” by David Bowie, out came a cat suit. Not so much one of the skintight leather variety, but instead, of the “impeccably tailored suit separates covered in white cartoon cats on a dark textured pant and cropped jacket divided by dense daisies on the exposed shirt” kind, all of which stood on towering navy satin platforms further destabilizing her playful paradox of youth. In this opening look of grown up pieces, the shape of the jacket creating the illusion of a bust and womanliness is bombarded by the girlieness of an impossibly long side braid, Lolita lips, satin Mary Janes and a bevy of cute graphic spring flora and fauna. As the show progresses Prada continues to play with this tension by slipping in a recurring reclining nude figure among the Jack Russell terriers and swallows. Additionally, as the silhouettes become swishier and more billowing, each look is topped off by a crisp, attached shirt collar. As the hemlines rise to school-girl-like pleats whole panels of fabric go missing, although balanced by the billowing long 70s sleeve, a nod to the increasingly unsettling Mr. Bowie in the background. A color progression seems to lead to innocence since the navy in the opening look becomes baby blue, followed by reds and pinks punctuated by sheer nude mesh inserts covered in iridescent paillets; however; the culminating white look, on model Lindsey Wixson, age 15, is still dotted with pink and interrupted by bare skin dripping in crystals. Throughout the entirety of the show the shifting intersections of innocence and sex, youth and sophistication, undulate and consistently maintain a slightly unnerving tension that is somehow perversely beautiful.
Now don’t fret; that feeling, her genius and those thirty minutes of live performance art do not stop there. It steps off the runway, is constantly re-imagined and explored by countless photographers and stylists on the glossy pages of magazines every month until it arrives. In the flesh, in the world, each piece that Miuccia touched with her vision lives out among us. Here’s to hoping for a lucrative summer job to really ground and integrate me with every step that I take in this profound and living piece of art.