Though few rules are hard and fast in fashion, one certainly stands strong: the clear delineation of the intimate indoors and the rugged outdoors. That these worlds stand apart tells of the well established convention of keeping the vulnerability of our inner lives protected from the outside world, and to which we zealously project an image of strength. For Miu Miu Fall Winter 2021, Miuccia Prada has explored this duality to epic proportions.
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Filmed among the snow-covered peaks of the Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites Alps, in an endeavour that was described in the show notes as “a difficult and brave undertaking”, models walk in sublime alpine backdrops. But their attire are contradictions of in-bed and adventuring: lace camisoles are worn under faux fur-lined ski suits, silk slip dresses are layered over knits, or simply worn alone with knitted arm warmers and faux fur mittens. The dresses themselves are self-contained contrasts of purpose, their delicate straps made almost weapon-like with aggressive metallic spikes.
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Intimate and pyjama tropes make ingress into sportswear, with bodies and bras made in quilted nylon, worn on the outside of everything – even the scarves – and ski onesies take on the powdery pinks and violets that are more commonly associated with lingerie. The line between functional and fashionable becomes negotiable. The faux fur boots, which were sometimes chunky to a whimsical degree, said more ‘fuzzy house slippers’ than mountaineering treads, and those cozy knitted ski masks featured in every look, sometimes seem extraneous, when worn with ensembles that consist of little more than a shoulder baring minidress—”a pretence of practicality,” as the show notes put it.
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It is an arch proposition that such oxymorons like ‘‘mountaineering dresses’, ‘skiing slippers’ or ‘extreme pyjamas’, may enter into our fashion vernacular. But after the last 12 months of inviting the outside world into our personal space, and vice versa, via our video conference existences, this might not be so far from our current collective train of thought.