Not long after its founding in 1993, Miu Miu, the brand that borrows Miuccia Prada’s nickname, started showing at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week.
One of these outings was for spring 1996. Giving the show a real Big City edge was its opener (later the face of the season’s advertising campaign), Chloë Sevigny, the 21-year-old star of the just-released Kids.
Harmony Korine’s famous movie is sometimes described as a coming of age film; circa 1996 Miu Miu was also in its early growing stages, but that’s about where the comparisons end. Despite the bra tops and sheer skirts showing printed pants, this collection was mannered and more about fashion than sex. (What curator Andrew Bolton dubbed the “Catholic imagination” is present in Prada’s work as a whole.) If some of the looks were teasers, there’s still the sense that you could bring the Miu Miu “girl” home to mother. In fact, some of the 1970s looks that Miu Miu fans might’ve coveted from her mother’s closet were translated here. With its muddied colors and brown plaid, this show worked the pretty/ugly dynamic that the designer was developing at this time.