Miu Miu Fall 2012 Review

Miu Miu Fall 2012

Photo: Imaxtree

Miu Miu Fall 2012

SHOW: Miu Miu (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKE-UP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: High leather platforms shoes or flat, polished-leather brogues in unusual hues, doctor's bags in glossy hide, the odd frilled ascot or wide '70s ties

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: A quizzical but exuberant statement on cross-dressing to close the Fall 2012 season

Back in Milan, Miuccia Prada opened her Fall 2012 Prada show with a pantsuit. Two weeks later, given the final word on the international collections, she chose to begin her Miu Miu show with another. There were subtle differences—Prada's was tight, firm and black, Miu Miu's looser, easier and worn over a brightly-printed shirt. It was also more insistent, followed by sister suits in every color of Miuccia Prada's rainbow (this season, that's mustard, burgundy, emerald and purple).

For lines that have diverged further and further in the past few seasons, this time Miu Miu and Prada were singing the same tune. There were blasts of the graphic '70s patterns we saw in Milan here too, intricate almost-Art Nouveau swirls in a muggy palette. Heels were high, platformed, although ankle-boots rather than spectator straps. And here it was much more androgynous generally, wide ties and mannish shirts making an appearance, and even a clunky, chunky brogue rather than those sky-high platforms.

Legs only came out of hiding for the last half-a-dozen looks, mini-dresses embellished with mirrored sequins. That doesn't mean the collection is one-note, just that Miuccia Prada recognizes that, at the start of the twenty-first century, most women choose to live most of their lives in pantsuits. Mrs. Prada herself took a bow in a fresh-off-the-runway number from her Milan show. Could one need a more glowing endorsement?