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28-05-2013
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The NY Times T Style Magazine Culture 2013 : Miuccia Prada by Mario Sorrenti
nyt (1).jpg
source | wwd.com

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28-05-2013
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Gorgeous, I love everything about it! The location, mood, styling, expression, etc.

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28-05-2013
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Oh my god, everything about this is all kinds of flawless

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28-05-2013
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Terrible. They've made her look like a haggard old woman. She's usually so full of life in pictures so I find this disappointing.

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28-05-2013
  5
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Wish it was in colour

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28-05-2013
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She doesn't look haggard at all. There's a certain mystique in how she's presented.

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28-05-2013
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She looks like a religious figure...the goddess of fashion. T has been turning out amazing covers and content these past few months, if only I could get it here.

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28-05-2013
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preview

Photograph by Mario Sorrenti; makeup By Lucia Pica at Art Partner; Hair by Patti Bussa at GreenAppleItalia.com.Miuccia Prada wears a blue and white gingham coat from her fall collection. She stands outside her new Fondazione in Milan, designed by Rem Koolhaas and set to open in 2014.

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Power of One | Miuccia Prada’s Circle of Influence

ANDREW O’HAGAN


Miuccia Prada is a fashion designer by profession, but she’s also an art curator, film producer, fledgling architect, conflicted feminist, avid consumer and unreconstructed socialist. Meet the modern woman. It had gone dark by the time I found the shop in Milan that belonged to Miuccia Prada’s grandfather. Near the Duomo and housed in a glass and marble walkway called Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the shop is now like a beacon in some modern Italian fantasy of style and wealth. Outside, there might be industrial decline and migration, but here the lights are fantastic and the people are drawn to it like moths. In the opening scene of Visconti’s classic movie “Rocco and His Brothers,” the Parondis come from the south to seek a new life in Milan. They look out from the tram as it goes through the dark city and all they can see is shops. “Rocco,” says one of the brothers to Alain Delon, “look at those shops and the lights. It’s like daylight.”
Mario Prada made leather goods. In 1918 his collection included a lizard bag with marcasite and a buckle of lapis lazuli. The highlight of 1927 was a wallet in toad skin and silver. When he died, his daughter took over, and eventually she brought in her youngest daughter, the smiling Miuccia, who was known to the family as Miu Miu. In 1978, she designed a black nylon rucksack that would later take the world by storm. With her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, she transformed the company from being a much-admired, eccentric retailer of luxury goods into a contemporary design powerhouse with sales of over $5 billion. The famous Prada brand, which includes women’s wear and men’s wear, is much copied — “The job is to do something interesting with ideas,” Miuccia told me, “and if it is copied I couldn’t care less” — and the group includes other brands like Miu Miu and the English shoe company Church’s.


Mrs. Prada, as she is known, who stands at about 5 foot 4 inches, usually gives little away, but when I met her I found her just about ready to open out of her enigma. Some designers are seekers of trends, but Prada actually is the trend, season after season, leaving others spinning at her heels as she unfolds her singular vision of what a woman can be. People keep saying: “How does she do it?” And the secret may lie in how she connects to the spirit of the age: she is a curious capitalist philosopher with a brilliant instinct for modern desire. She is a designer not afraid to reach into what makes people human, asking odd questions, then coming back with very elegant answers.
“Fashion is about the way we compose ourselves every day,” Mrs. Prada once wrote. This was on my mind when I met her at her headquarters in the Via Bergamo. The rain was coming down heavily when Prada arrived in a dark blue Audi and quickly dashed into one of the gray buildings. She was charming from the moment we sat down, and filled, you might say, with the easy laughter of strong conviction, the mirth of certainty. And yet Prada is pleased to live within her contradictions. It may be the thing that makes her able to create menacing, interesting work: in her core she is equally unafraid of failure and success.
“When I started, fashion was the worst place to be if you were a leftist feminist. It was horrid. I had a prejudice, yes, I always had a problem with it,” she said. “I suppose I felt guilty not to be doing something more important, more political. So in a way I am trying to use the company for these other activities.” She later added, “I’m not interested in the silhouette and I’m not able to draw. It’s complicated.
I am trying to work out which images of the female I want to analyze. I’m not really interested in clothes or style.”


We talked about how her sense of style might become an instrument of even greater change. Why, for instance, do women behave as if age is a prison? Isn’t our era’s obsession with youth a form of mass hysteria? “It is much more of a drama for women, the business of aging. No one wants to age, and I really think we should find a solution. Especially because we live so much longer,” she said. “It used to be that a woman would have only one life, one husband, and if you were bored that was that. Now, you can have two or three lives. So even the concept of family is changing. I think this question of aging will define the society of the future.”
“So why not use older models sometimes?” I asked.
“Mine is not an artistic world, it is a commercial world. I cannot change the rules.”
“But you change the rules,” I said. “If you put an old lady on the runway, other people would do it too.”
She laughed. In that light her eyes were green; before I asked the question they were brown. “Let’s say I’m not brave enough. I don’t have the courage.”


Yet courage is what she does have. When you take on the fashion world and ask it to reconsider the meaning of beauty, that’s courage. She is not, as insurance men say, risk-averse. I asked her what is the power of ugly?
“This is a question close to the meaning of my job. Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer,” she said. “The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people. You know, this might have been a scandal in fashion but in other fields of art it is common: in painting and in movies, it was so common to see ugliness. But, yes, it was not used in fashion and I was very much criticized for inventing the trashy and the ugly. ”
“The novelist Flaubert hated the rituals of bourgeois life. You do, also, don’t you?”
“For sure. And we have to define what these rituals are.”
“Good taste.”
“Ah, for sure,” she said. “By definition good taste is horrible taste. I do have a healthy disrespect for those values. I don’t want to sound like a snob, but it comes very easy to me. I have to say that, although I rejected those values for a lot of my life, it was not for very noble reasons. Let’s just say that. I have to be honest. I don’t feel it was very good or very noble to feel more cultured or superior.”
Prada pleases herself, and she does it with dedication. She makes what she wants to make, which may be why other designers are not only touched by her aesthetic but appear to have graduated from her school of thinking. “Prada’s designs stem from an inner vision of herself,” said the New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, “and plainly it’s filled with images from Italian films and conflicts involving beauty. But the upshot is a tangled, what-a-woman sexiness.”


Yet there may be an essence in Prada’s work that says no to self-satisfaction. It doesn’t say: “You’re lovely. You deserve this. You’re worth it.” It says something more like, “Who are you? Dare to find out. And dare to be otherwise.” This essence has a broad tendency to inflect the moment we are living through. A generation has come about that believes in the virtues of self-invention. I put it to her that she is one of the people who gives lessons in this.
“I had never discovered the real reason for my job, and probably what you are saying is very true,” she said, “that you can choose your life. You can change your mind and change your clothes. We have to talk more because maybe now I know one of the reasons why I do my job.”
“I am a novelist,” I said. “I invent people for a living. But so do you.”
“You are right. I always thought it was an escape, and ‘to dream’ was something I didn’t like. But this is very true and very good also, that you can use the clothes to reinvent yourself. The first thing a poor person has is her body. People talk about luxury — and fashion is more or less expensive — but it is nevertheless democratic.”
“One of the cheaper ways of changing yourself.”
“It is one of the first levels of emancipation.”
She relaxed as the hours passed. When we began talking, she kept making as if to take off her coat and then she would put it back on again, not sure if she felt comfortable. I chose to see this as part of her nature: not getting too comfortable. Yet you can see how enlarged she becomes, comfortable or not, with ideas and with the invitation to search her feelings. For someone so dedicated to change, every day another change, this 64-year-old woman loves the idea of being delighted. From her third-floor office she has a slide that winds down to the ground floor, an artwork by Carsten Höller, that allows at least one burst of delight whenever you feel like it. She doesn’t collaborate with artists in her designs — like the slide, they are a fascinating diversion from it — but her art foundation, supporting and exhibiting art, film and architecture, has made her another kind of impresario, a person who gauges the culture’s stories and stimulates investigation. She has supported a clutch of filmmakers, like Roman Polanski and Wes Anderson, through short films for various Prada ventures and her friends say she is poised to enter the world of feature films in a meaningful way. A wide range of artists, including Francesco Vezzoli, Cindy Sherman, Baz Luhrmann and the architects Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron, feel connected to her vision of personal transformation. “I once asked Louise Bourgeois why people were so interested in fashion,” Prada told me, “and she said, ‘In the end, people want to seduce.’ But I don’t think this is enough. I believe it is more complicated.”
The complication is that the people the Prada consumers often want to seduce are themselves. We want to test who we can be in an atmosphere not bloated with obvious effort. Prada’s clothes make you feel you are appearing at your most calm and your least demonstrative, which is a kind of freedom for people who yearn to look good but don’t want the yearning to show.


Prada trained as a mime, and she performed at La Scala and other places when she was young. She was a communist who believed, like many of her 1960s generation, that change would come not through commodities but through revolution. Well, there was a revolution, but it was, as those who remember the hours after the Berlin Wall came down, a revolution of blue jeans. People in East Berlin were desperate to get to the shops. Prada is one of the brands that came to life around the same time. But Miuccia floats between knowing the truth of this and wanting to discover other truths that might contradict it. “When you create something that is ‘out there,’ ” I asked her, “like kitchen utensils hanging on a skirt, do you tend to know in advance that this might not be commercial?”
“Yes. But I have to do it. There is an understanding that, when I do a show, no one will tell me what to do. Once, at the beginning of my career, I tried to listen to others and it was all wrong. I have to do what I think is right, and now everybody is happy that it is like this. We might later decide to do something more wearable that is based on the original ideas, but, you know, some collections are easier than others.”
“Can too much democracy hurt fashion? It used to be so elitist and that’s what people liked about it.”
“It’s like when too many people go to a museum, does it destroy the level of the museum? I choose a wider audience. I also think when I’m doing the shows I try to be more obvious, more loud, more clear.”
“Why?”
“Because I think if you don’t scream, no one listens. If you are too delicate, too subtle, your voice gets diluted. But you don’t have to give up the sophistication. The last two days when I’m doing a show, the work is, for me, complicated, but then in the final moments I think, ‘What is the title of this show?’ And then I try to make it more clear, so that it appeals to people who maybe know less about fashion as well as appealing to people that are fixated with it. There are different levels of understanding. You have to touch people. It’s probably like a song: you have to touch something deep. I’m now trying to open myself much more. In the ’90s, I was considered minimal and this was because I was hiding myself and my ideas.”
“You were nervous of criticism?”
“Yes. But now I give more of myself. You have to go deeper,” she said. “At the beginning, I didn’t want to give up myself and that was a big problem. A bag is exterior to you, but with clothes you are getting nearer. I knew I would have to give more.”
via tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com

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28-05-2013
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cont.

Quote:
There is something industrial about Prada’s headquarters, something that chimes with the outlying areas of Milan, the housing projects and factories shot by Visconti, whose films have long been a reference point for the designer. It is all of a piece with the clothes actually, marrying form and function, the ugly and the beautiful, to make something that redefines the meaning of glamour. Some designers simply put a shine on desire and then issue the appropriate sunglasses, but Prada is busy finding a whole new way of thinking. You’ll pay for it, certainly, but you won’t pay for it by cashing in your powers of thinking because that’s what she does, consistently imbuing her designs with a personal mindfulness.
“Would you say selling is as important as making?”
“Yes. If people take money out of their pockets, it means that what you are doing is relevant to them. I hope they don’t just buy because there is a logo but because the object is relevant to them. To sell is to prove that what you are doing makes sense. I’m completely against the idea that we do fashion for an elite — that would be too easy, in a way.”
I believe there is a small anxiety in Prada. She worries, perhaps, as a feminist, as a thinker, as a person who loves art and culture — with a Ph.D. in political science from Milan University — that the fashion world might be bent on trivializing the world’s problems. She might also worry that a rich fashion designer is disqualified from addressing such problems or talking about ordinary life. But in fact she has pushed consistently for fashion to address some of the more searching aspects of the times. Fashion follows her, and artists love her, because she is properly responsive to change. Most iconoclasts become bigots for their own program: not her. She is ready at all times to be proved wrong.
‘How important is it for people to love themselves? I mean women.”
Her smile grew. She called for Champagne. “Now that you ask me, I ask myself,” she said. “What do you think?”
“I think it’s overrated.”
“Bravo!” she said. “This is great. This is something I can tell my friends. What a liberation. You can hate yourself!”
She asked me to give her the card with my question on it. She wanted to save it for later. A tray of the world’s most delicate sandwiches arrived, cucumber squares and triangles with small curls of anchovy set at the corner. Prada’s beautiful, beaten, brown Miu Miu leather coat was now off her shoulders; she was wearing a light brown jumper underneath. She wore a silk, off-white skirt and a pair of burgundy-colored sandals encrusted with fake jewels. Everything she had on her body was invented by her. I told her that if I was in her shoes I’d sometimes be desperate to get away from the brand.
“I’m never in the brand,” she said.
“That’s not where you live?”
“No. I want Prada to be successful. But the idea of the brand doesn’t interest me, and I never think about it.”
“Is your work a self-portrait?”
“Yes.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“It comes from me. It’s my soul. It’s my life. My work and my life are more or less the same thing, and I never consider that the work is something different,” she said. The job, the foundation, my personal life, it’s all one thing.” You can believe that when you see how her big stores, or “epicenters,” have become not just marketplaces but zones of concentric culture, where a film might be shown and the shop — often built by Rem Koolhaas — might revolve and you might attend a gig by the Hours. This is the position she has created, where a great modern designer can be a mogul, a curator, a lightning rod and a fan. Imagine Andy Warhol at his height with 461 stores operating in 70 countries. And to think that Prada’s grandfather didn’t want the women in the family to be involved in running the business.


One of her friends told me she liked Elizabeth Taylor, and I thought of the late film star when I saw Prada’s sandals. Prada admits to a trashier side, and she lit up when I said I wanted to talk to her about Elizabeth Taylor’s diamonds. “Is it O.K. that she got them from men?”
“Yes,” she said. “Sometimes I still feel that women don’t appreciate their position in society. That we are not strong enough to impose our thinking. We don’t like businesswomen: we go against women who appear to be like men. And I always wanted to have aspects of character from everywhere, and not only be one way. I had friends who said, ‘No men, no children, total independence.’ I chose a compromise, a complete compromise. I chose a bit of avant-garde, a bit of fashion, and for me it works. I don’t want to reject my past because I have it so deeply inside myself. To be nice with a man, I don’t think it’s so bad.” (She is also the mother of two sons in their 20s.)
Prada was the natural choice to dress the girls in Baz Luhrmann’s movie “The Great Gatsby.” In a contemporary way, she understands the conjunction of money and romance and dreams, American or otherwise. She didn’t need a commission: the style of the film could have taken itself from the Fitzgeraldian contradictions and investigations into selfhood that have for years been the hallmark of her work. By the time Prada met Luhrmann and the film’s star, Carey Mulligan, to discuss a possible collaboration, they had already tested some of her clothes on screen.
“You like diamonds?”
“I’m interested in jewels,” she said. “I know what it is: I only like antique jewelry because I like the stories attached to them. I like to know who was wearing them. It’s the life of people that interests me. Also, they are beautiful. Flowers and jewels are part of a woman’s history. I like to look at these jewels and wonder if the woman was happy. For instance, I have a brooch which features a boat in the sea and on top there is a little gold rose and over this a spider. And I wonder who gave it to the woman? Was she a lucky woman? What does it mean?”
She’ll go on thinking. People will go on buying. And one day we might wake up and find that our everyday reality was actually made by shy and pivotal little geniuses like Miuccia Prada, half-capitalist, half-communist, searching for the next big idea and often finding it very close to home. When I left her, she was still waving the little notecard with the question on it about whether a woman must love herself in order to be happy. As her car sped away under the low, gray Prada sky, I guessed that her answer might be that loving oneself is irrelevant. What’s important is to know yourself. “If it’s fake, it doesn’t work,” she had said. “It has to be true to yourself first and then it might be successful.”
via tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com

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28-05-2013
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Beautiful cover, she looks like the powerful woman she is!
Great read! Thanks once again MAT!

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28-05-2013
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Fantastic cover, love everything about this.

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28-05-2013
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Love the old country feel to this cover balanced with the modern text, perfect setting for Miuccia.

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28-05-2013
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Wonderful cover fitting for a wonderful women!

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28-05-2013
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Great cover subject, but she looks the same in every portrait I've ever seen on her. Reverential, matriarchal, sometimes even saint-like.

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30-05-2013
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Magical Realism
Photographer: Benjamin Alexander Huesby
Model: Anais Mali
Styling: Vanessa Traina
Hair: Holli Smith
Make-Up: Frankie Boyd
Nails: Zhara Hanley & Sherry Gajor


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