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Miuccia Prada’s Splendid Hypocrisy

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In fashion, we find politics, art, music, and economics. In fashion, we see the world in conversation. Patterns and silhouettes from previous eras often experience a resurgence depending upon the needs of the time; needs that are cultural, political, environmental, etc. Through fashion, we can embody an idea or ideal; we can wear our beliefs on our sleeves, or present radical contradictions via the cut of our hair, the style of our shoes or the shape of our skirts and suits. It is a dialogic medium of both personal and collective expression. The science of trend forecasting works to analyze these contradictions to envision how the paradoxes of today will influence the social and political landscapes of tomorrow.

I’ve included highlights from Miuccia Prada’s interview, but feel free to visit the full article here.

WWD: Fashion tends to swing politically correct, but fashion loves its fur.
M.P.: It’s part of what can’t exist anymore. It’s part of that old way of being a woman but still meaning so much. My generation, we come from 2,000 years when eating meat, wearing fur, was normal. Now, you can’t eat meat, you can’t wear fur, which I understand. I prefer to do politics [differently] than writing “no fur” on the T-shirt. I always thought it was too easy. This is my way of provoking. It’s part of a larger discussion, but now we’re getting into something complicated.

WWD: You’re not afraid to say your feelings on fur are unresolved, even while playing to the provocation.
M.P.: It’s a lot of hypocrisy, because we do so many things that are against saving the world. For instance, traveling with the fumes. So we should stop traveling? We should stop so many things. I hate when people are superficial. It’s easy to say, “You’re horrible because of this and that.” You have to go deep in solving the problem and knowing all the consequences. Intellectual critique is sometimes very hypocritical. This is my fixation at the moment, also in art and everything. Hypocrisy. For instance, in Italy, talk about politics [and] it’s all about “We have to create richness; we have to create places for work; we have to create work, we have to create what people spend.” But after, on the next page, “Consumerism is horrible; companies are horrible.” Forget fashion, because it’s the worst. At some point, you have to decide. Let’s say if capitalism is to work—and it’s more or less everywhere—we have to find another way of living, another way of consuming. So we have to go deep in this discussion.

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WWD: Some time ago, you were asked about “fast fashion” and you said the one thing people don’t ask is why those clothes can be made so cost-effectively. That was before the Bangladesh fires became front-page news.
M.P.: That poses a perfect example of hypocrisy, no? People [who] are intellectual leftists, they say I am expensive and horrible, “How can you sell clothes at that price?” Simply, it’s the cost. If you pay people to do everything with the right system, things are expensive. And the same people that criticize the [dangerous production environments], when it comes to cost they like the inexpensive pieces because they think it’s more democratic. This is an example of hypocrisy.

WWD: The fashion/art connection—has it become just another trend?
M.P.: I think fashion embraces everything that is happening, everything in society and vice versa. Other creative fields find in fashion openness, comprehension, money—not necessarily, money, but interest. People in fashion are open to art, open to architecture. In the fashion world, there is a lot of enthusiasm. Also, speed. Speed is very much envied by other fields. You want something, you do it; it’s quick. A piece of architecture takes five years to build, a movie maybe less. But fashion is instant. You have an idea, you do it and after, change—good and bad.

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