Miu Miu Ready-to-Wear Spring Summer Collection 2021

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The limitations caused by the pandemic have been tough on the youth. The physical group activities so vital to the formative years of tweens and teens and twenty-somethings have been disrupted: no sports, no school, no summer parties until sunrise.

Zooms, FaceTimes, and live streams can substitute a lot, but never the real thing. While the fangirls who fawn over Miu Miu did have to experience this season’s show without the atmosphere of an audience, Miuccia Prada gifted them with the communal spirit of girlhood.

Livestreamed from Milan, the show set imagined a cyber-spacious sports arena covered in screens with the—also live-streamed—faces of Miu Miu poster girls watching the show, including Elle Fanning, Chloé Sevigny, and various influencers.

Opened by Lila Moss (the 18-year-old daughter of Kate)—whose English rose features could have been the subject of a Lord Byron poem on youth and beauty—the collection captured the accidental uniforms of young people.

Too under-construction to have developed the dress codes that shape their wardrobes later in life, the youth’s uniforms materialize around the duties and pastimes that the pandemic took away from them this year. It’s a wardrobe suspended between the extremes of the hyper-casual and that stilted sense of formality you get from a prom photo. “Polarity. These are polar times,” as Prada said in a statement after the show.

“The reason why people dress is sometimes to please, sometimes to be sexy, sometimes to be socially relevant, sometimes for a job. The way you present yourself—the clothes are important because they define you in a second.

Clothes are a tool for that message,” she continued. “The first spectator of yourself is you.” The Miu Miu show read like the Euphoria generation’s guide to effortless dressing: the things you wear through the process of learning the messages Prada wanted to convey about the role of clothes in life.

Prim and pristine low-riding track pants, sharp track jackets, micro skirts, and kitten-heeled tennis shoes embodied the dress codes of sports activities. Sporty blazers, little bowling jackets, neat shirts, and plaid skirts evoked school uniforms.

Conceived in the teenage dreams of perfect party outfits (possibly in the 1990s, but I could be projecting), there were techno-fied halter-neck shell tops and oscillating techy dresses.

Then, some dream prom scenarios as well, like a white dress with a draped bow on the back that curtained dramatically to the side to reveal its pink lining. For all its youthfulness, you imagine Miu Miu probably isn’t something young people are able to buy in bulk.

But the community of youth that Prada portrays with a collection like this pushes some universal buttons of desirability and unity that we are all hankering for at this moment in time.

Similarly, Prada’s show notes talked about the institution of the fashion show as a unifying event—something she wanted to convey through her live-streamed experience.

Carried by the young women on her runway, that sentiment reminded some of us of the time we fell in love with fashion shows in the first place; in our teenage bedroom, chunky laptop at hand, waiting for the first runway pictures from our favourite shows to come in… live from Paris Fashion Week.