Damasks and denim: a couple of things we haven’t seen much of in Paris came out to play for the season’s grand finale at Miu Miu. The opening look — wide white shorts and a denim jacket — were shown on the honey-coloured limbs of Taylor Hill, who looked as sunny as a Valley Girl after a day at the mall. The Victoria Secret’s model lead a starry line-up that included a rare turn by Lara Stone — who wore plunging lilac silk. The denim jacket remained a theme of the collection, refinished in flock, velvet, brocade and damask: some were patched with neat embroidered name-tags; Alain, Gene and John, like bowling shirt insignias or boyfriend patches, others sported cutesy badges of a deer, or a floral. Most were worn over pretty kaleidoscopic knitwear with big white lace-trimmed Puritan collars.
If the earlier looks had an American flavour, the show swiftly moved overseas, where cinched waxed jackets, argyle knitwear and carpet coats had a whiff of the Downton dowager. Where at Prada, Mrs Prada had called on a Mitford-era muse, these women were direct relations. Add in the 1940s-style safari jackets, jodhpurs, handkerchiefs poking from jaunty coloured breast pockets and wrinkled, ribbed stockings, and it all suggested a technicolour wartime jamboree — though skirts lengths were either determinedly long or scraped up high and tied with blousey bows at the side (more ladette than Land Girl).
While the silhouette has been more relaxed at many Paris shows, the Miu Miu girl was, like her Prada antecedent, elegantly waisted. No corsets here though, just broad black belts and thin string ties to hold her all together.
The full-skirted shape so beloved by Mrs Prada was found in cinched sou’wester coats. The damasks were long and singularly pretty. Shoes were sky high and tied with ribbons and jewels on the heel, or flat and fluffy and all strewn with pearls.
It looked refreshing and less darkly tortured than previous seasons. It was a happy show which offered riffs on classics, with a big shot of nostalgia on the side.