The Fashion Dialectic – New York Times

“Well, this is what a child’s fantasy might be,” Mr. Browne said backstage. “Mine, too, I guess. That’s what fashion should be.”

Though perhaps not, according to Miuccia Prada, who announced that, with her Miu Miu show, she was more interested in trying to understand “how to make beauty possible in real life, when it isn’t secluded in the museum, or the hotel.” Or — she didn’t add but probably could have — a designer’s head.

So she took sheer lace dresses and layered them over argyle vests and knee socks; added distressed leather bows to the shoulders of lumberjack shirts; mixed up tablecloth prints and ’70s plaids; spackled Crombie-style coats with dangling diadems. And, most pointedly (though she claimed not consciously), cast the most diverse lineup of the week, with more than half her models being non-Caucasian. Welcome to Main Street.

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Miu Miu: Spring 2018

CreditRegis Colin Berthelier/Nowfashion

At least in the hands of Mr. Ghesquière such thesis and antithesis finally reached a kind of synthesis via elaborate reinventions of 18th-century French and British frock coats — in silver and gold brocade, in leather, in assorted florals (he and his team had done some research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) — paired with silk boxer shorts and patent-leather jeans, tossed on over “Stranger Things” T-shirts and sneakers. Oh, this old Louis XIV thing? I wear it to the gym every day.

Ditto stiff silk-shantung dresses, buttoned tight to the torso and belling out over the hips, that were layered over striped leotard tops; and two twinkling white tank dresses webbed with clear crystals and worn over derivations of silver sequined sports bras.

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Louis Vuitton: Spring 2018

CreditRegis Colin Berthelier/Nowfashion

Combining the historically elaborate and the technically aerobic is not a new idea — Mr. Ghesquière has explored the same territory before, in his Balenciaga years, and Alexander McQueen did, too — but this time around it had a polish and momentum (most looks were shown with sneakers) that had currency.

The peacocking men’s pieces were no longer relics from an archive designed to transport everyone back to the court of the Sun King; the gym wear was no longer waiting for its personal trainer. Both had become equal variables in a wardrobe.

As Mr. Ghesquière pointed out, when you wear sports clothes all the time they stop being sports clothes, ditto costume.

Riddle me this: What happens then?

They become simply “our clothes.”

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