The Active, Strong Women of Prada

Considering the feminist slant in Miuccia Prada’s show in Milan, it makes sense that to decorate her runway set she would enlist six contemporary artists to paint portraits on the walls, instructing them to create “an active, strong woman,” according to WWD.  The line-up of artists included El Mac, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, Stinkfish, Jeanne Detallante, and Pierre Mornet – a list that includes men. Men can be feminists, too, you know!

All six artists only painted women’s faces, leaving bodies out entirely, to Miuccia’s surprise. But given the way women’s bodies have been cut up visually in advertising and other arenas, reducing them to no more than a set of legs or cleavage, it sort of makes sense to leave them out. A little eyes up here, please, and I have a brain, you know.

Bras worn on top of clothing and shoes that could not have been farther from sexy continued to communicate the aggressively feminist aesthetic of the show. And for what it’s worth, feminism’s not a dirty word when it doesn’t have to be, but aggression in all forms is asking for confrontation. And I will never be convinced that those shoes are appropriate, or that wearing bras on top of a shirt is chic or functional – something most women I know generally require. 

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