Monday, October 6, 2008

Miu Miu brand research

Miu Miu Advertising

Advertising campaigns are also an interesting way to interpret the designer’s direction for the season. Miu Miu’s advertising campaign for spring 2008 uses a balance of colour and a variety of hue. Both light and dark values, bright and dull intensities have been used which all balance the colour scheme. The red floor has a high value due to its dark colour and shade which contrasts heavily with the high chroma purple curtain. The matt and shiny textures of the colour mix well and give the image a feeling of seduction and playfulness. I really love how the image can convey a feeling about the collection without seeing the more than garment. It gives emphasis on the importance of colour within fashion design and how an advertisement can portray the inspirations and aspirations behind one season’s collection.

The colours used throughout the Miu Miu autumn winter campaigns are reflected as unnatural. For example the blue used for the sky and the grey used for the tarmac are not ‘lifelike’ but unnatural and accentuated colours of nature and the natural world as we know it. As a result there is a strong emphasis placed on colour and the contrast between the pale skin on the model and the acidic red of her lips. The colour palette used creates intensity and highlights the relationship and interaction between the light source, background, colour and object colour. It almost gives a cartoon, surreal feeling to the advert. There is a more childish and vivid element which links in heavily with the brand and its ‘atmospheric’ former collections which represent a more fun youthful side of fashion.
Looking closely at the advertisements there is also a strong link with the mid 1950’s pop art movement. Pop art was all about popular culture and challenging and distancing the mass market for a dramatic effect. There is an everyday element to Miu Miu’s advertisement above yet it has been challenged by the use of colour and therefore become more aggressive. This can be related to many pop artists one of the most influential being Roy Lichtenstein, and example of his work can be seen below; 1963, ‘In the Car.’

It also ties in with Miuccia Prada’s vision of the brand and her strive for a alternative style, characterised by the brands strong identity and unique hand writing. However the style still remains classic, it is simply just reinterpreted and updated, 'Miu Miu is always more about fashion than Prada, more about atmosphere, more sensual. It's light and free. Not serious. Age is not really fundamental; the spirit is more important than age. It's more the idea and the spirit that counts.' (Miuccia Prada)
Each past and present collection tells its own story and the vision of the brand is constantly being redefined. The brand is designed for women who cannot be defined, it isn’t ‘safe’ in terms of use of colour.
Miuccia Prada was an early feminist and this is reflected in her designs from season to season, as well as strongly reflected in each seasonal advertisement. Nothing is reserved about her designs; it is all about shape, lines and bold use of colour. The brand plays on the fact that there is no feminine ideal. Spirit strongly overrides age, with age no longer becoming a fundamental element; the brand is based on ‘Child Women.’

Miu Miu store in Hong Kong
The Miu Miu store in Hong Kong uses a bright feminine hue with high chroma which gives the feeling of a light, bright and spacious building consequently drawing consumers into the store. The colour yellow is also associated with summer and happiness therefore the familiarity and associations with this colour are pleasing and readily accepted, as a result the mood reflected is one of radiance and pleasure. Customers will be more likely to enter the store and purchase feeling satisfied, the perception is positive. This also relates to the youthfulness of the brand and its image.

Miu Miu is positioned as a fashion-forward yet more affordable line from Prada, named after Miuciana Prada’s nickname as a child. Set up in 1992 Miu Miu reflects a younger demographic including artistic designs, often simplistically conveyed by means of vintage-inspired styling. Considering the so-called ‘Ten Year Cycle’ of fashion - by incorporating pieces and looks from historical periods, rejuvenating, reworking and contemporising the styling just prior to the ideas being taken on by other major brands - Miu Miu remains as a dictator within its market.
Within the collections, childhood inspired elements blend with unnatural colour combinations in a fantastical but somehow sensual world. The philosophy behind Miu Miu reflects the multi-faceted nature of the brand, how “Miuciana Prada’s vision of the Miu Miu woman is continually redefined”, utilising each seasons’ collection to make commentary on current social or political issues of importance to her and establishing a “complicated feminine ideal”.
The brand philosophy continues to classify the typical Miu Miu styling:
“Where ingrained elegance meets immediacy and lightness. Where independence, improbably, meets sensuality. Where sophistication meets nonchalance.”
These contrasts in terms illustrate the somewhat eclectic nature of Miu Miu collections, how any expectations of the brand can be disregarded apart from the knowledge there will be a visual feast in store!

Considering the Miu Miu brand philosophy, the Spring 2009 Ready-To-Wear collection did not disappoint in artistic flair. "An investigation of our history, of our European past" is how Miuciana Prada described the newest show in Paris, with prints on dresses and blouses reflecting Roman printed tiles in terracottas, camels, midnight blues, corals, greys and yellows. Normally employing colour theories including principles of novelty and alternations and contrasts of colour, this collection veered more towards the principle of resemblance, some colours harmonizing well with accents in exaggerated tones to highlight accordingly. However eccentric abstract floral prints were combined with pleats, graffiti style spray paint embellishments and apron style adornments in an eclectic palette of colours. Neutrals included a mushroom beige and black combination throughout with bright pinks and lilac grafitti, reds to highlight and yellow and terracottas within the Roman-style prints.

Linking the current collection with European history of Rome and Italy, Miu Mui collections are also reminiscent of the artist Salvador Dali in their quirky surrealism, schizophrenic changes in colour and fantasy shapes and contexts.

However all collections share qualities of artistic origin; most significantly the Spring/Summer 2007 collection with sexy harlequin and circus inspired styling. Dresses were adorned with caricature faces, were reminiscent of pop artists such as Lichtenstein and Warhol in the combination of highly chromatic and exaggerated colours, maximizing the principle of novelty throughout.

Also in terms of culture Miuciana Prada is known to incorporate current social issues into her collections, one past range commenting on the artificial nature of women aspiring to unreachable levels of perfection; another on the theatrical nature of life as a show. Within the latest Spring 2009 RTW collection, hemlines are low, falling below the knee which reflects the current social economic climate (it is said that in times of wealth skirts will be short, and in times of recession hemlines will be lower). This economic climate is also reflected in the lack of so many ‘avant-garde’ pieces; most were sexily simple and more classic in design, rendering their life-in-service longer and more appealing in times of an uncertain future.

Considering Miu Miu’s brand philosophy that the Miu Miu woman is continually reinventing herself the design process will be relatively free and open to interpretation, designing a collection for Autumn/Winter 2009 will be based on the following main principles:
1. reliance on cultural symbolism
2. conceptually artistic inspirations
3. childlike metaphors
4. feminine styling
5. fantastical imagery
6. vivid colour palette, with unnatural tones
7. commentary on social issues

Analysing Miu Miu F/W 08 RTW Collection

This collections is based on sport, but taking it "in a new direction", Miuccia Prada

The Collection takes the sports theme literally, with bold, colour-blocked jumpsuits and fitted horse hoods tied under the chin. However, there is a diversion from this with densely knitted blouson sweaters over long shorts and track jackets with straight skirts, as well as shift dresses in lace and jersey. For evening, matte sequins were incorporated into the designs.

The images below depict high value hues with low chroma. The high value shades of plum red and bottle green, when contrasted with the black, create harmony and balance.

Monochromatic Colour Scheme:

PRINICPLE OF RESEMEBLENCE - this states that colours harmonise more when the difference between them is less. In this case, it justifies Miu Miu's selection of light and dark colours of the same hue.

The images above have similar colour schemes, in that they all use 2 colours of the same hue but with differing chromas and values. For example, above, one can see the use of a variety of different values and levels of chroma of green and orange. The lack of contrast creates a sublte, harmonious effect.

THE PRINCIPLE OF ORDER can also be applied to the outfits above as they use an achromatic colour scheme. The designs on the left and centre have subtle differences between the grey and black shades and tones, combined with the low chroma green hue.

Analogous Colour Combinations:

Analogous colour plans are based on a limited number of adjacent hues. Below are examples of Miu Miu's application of this colour combination, where red and orange have been used. The contrast between them is not very strong, which relates to the principle of resemblence, but when paired with the black, a strong contrast is created, giving both colours a stronger impact.

Monochromatic Colour Scheme

Below are examples of the application of the PRINCIPLE OF ORDER, but applied in a different way. Miu Miu uses one hue of a high value and chroma and pairs it with black to create impact. Differing the hue for each piece, but keeping the high value and chroma creates consistancy between each piece and makes it clear that it is from one collection.

Diad Colour Scheme

This scheme involves using 2 colours apart on the colour wheel. Using contrasting colours creates high impact. The hues below have high chroma and high value, and when combined with black, this is especially enhanced.

orange & green red & green

Achromatic Scheme

This is a colour scheme. Miu Miu has used black as a base to tie all the pieces in the collection together. Below are examples where different shades of black have been used to create a subtle effect.

We have spilt the collection into two parts that have two very different colour palettes. The first part consists of much more vibrant hues with bright primary colours mixed with maroons, black and teal. These colours all have a dramatic intensity with a high saturation making them quite unnatural and not life like colours. The darker colours that are paired with the bright primary colours have a very low value with shades of black added to them to create a dull hue. Several of the outfits are given added intensity as the bight colours are often strongly contrasted with black in the collection. The second colour palette is more subtle with creams, moss, baby pink and mauve and all have quite a low intensity. These colours have a more subdued effect on the whole collection and this creates a complete contrast with a delicate feeling of sheer fabrics, soft prints and fine details.
The collection is brought together by the silhouettes and the constant length of the dresses, high-waisted skirts and bloomers which are all extremely short. There are only 3 pairs of trousers in the collection and they are all straight legged. Miniskirts teamed with sheer bibbed blouses and a beautiful voluminous cape, before volume creeps into the bottom half of the silhouette with springy tutus that flare out from the waist to hip with a flash of the bloomers and miniskirts underneath. The key detail punctuating the collection are the collars, chaps and cuffs that are often detached from the clothing, and are a modern take on the short lace gloves favoured by Madonna in the Eighties. This is a typically style of Miu Miu to add such a quirky detail to grown-up blouses and shift dresses. This also reflects the main theme of the collection with a theatrical circus like inspiration as a fantasy wonderland is created with extremely short harlequin style dresses that are illustrated with a female face.
The spilt colour palette reflects the principal of novelty that states even though people like a harmonious colour scheme that is balanced the harmony quickly becomes boring. Therefore an unforeseen colour combination can make the collection more desirable and harmonious. The theory of novelty also fits in with the brand identity and philosophy of Miu Miu that every colour is not what you would expect, and shows the playful side of the label. The entire collection fits Miu Miu's vision which is to bring theatre to life and to dress for a performance; these pieces are about dressing up and showing your creative side.
Furthermore the collection is broken down into a monochromatic scheme with an outfit with shades of green, an achromatic scheme with black and white outfits and outfits with the colours form the same colour palette.

Purely white outfits were contrasted with bright shoes.

A bright red with high intensity paired with black for greater contrast and effect.

These three outfits used the same colours paired with black.
The unexpected high intensity colours and the style of the harlequin dresses with faces on them also reflect the Surrealism style from the 1920s, particularly from Salvador Dali’s work. Salvador Dali was a Spanish painter and was best known for his great imagination with striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. He also paints faces and objects that have been distorted that are similar to the feeling of Miu Miu’s faces on the dresses, and his objects were inspired by blocks of melting cheese.

As well as playful and beautifully created garments, the accessories also stood out and almost stole the show with clutch purses so small they were almost invisible in the models’ hands. The outfits were also accompanied by Art Nouveau inspired shoes with platform shoes growing into boots as the collection proceeded. Art Nouveau is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms, and these forms on the shoes were often infused with a mixed colour palette like the outfits themselves.

Art Nouveau inspired shoes with the same colour palette seen in the outfits.

Art Nouveau inspired boots that were paired with extra short miniskirts and bloomers to create an incredibly quirky touch to an already eccentric coloured outfit.

Colour Proportions
Spring 2007 Collection

Navy and other shades and tones of blue are the most dominate colours occupying 60% of the collection.

Tints, tones and shades of red are used throughout the collection adding contrast; approximately 20% of the collection has some red hue incorporated into the design.

20% of the collection uses white as a block colour. This creates a subtle contrast against the high chroma hues. Using a lighter tint reflects the feeling of spring/summer.

30% of the collection uses black and this is commonly paired with navy.
Approximately 25% of the collection uses different tonal shades of the hue purple which complements red.

Pattern and block colour use
20% of the designs in the collection are patterned and 80% makes use of block colour to make a statement.

Fall 2007

43% of the collection uses tints, shades and tones of the hue brown.

33% of the collection is made up of black, this includes tones of grey.

15% of the collection includes red. Tones of orange are also used but hard to distinguish and differentiate between the two as the variation of orange in its secondary form is so subtle. Tints of pink are also prominent but used more sparingly throughout the collection.

Blue makes up 6% of the collection; it is used to add contrast to dominate warmer
colours in the range. It is used to add difference and interest to the collection.

Fall 2008

The main block of the collection is made up of black or features tontal tints of black. 92% of the garments use black as a base block colour, colour is then added to accentuate the collection and add depth.

Green is the second most favoured colour with shades and tones using up 25% of the collection. The different shades and tones are paired together to complete outfits which give a monochromatic feel.

High chroma orange is added to the collection to add a vibrant contrast to the low chroma blacks. The collection features around 18% orange and is often paired with black to give a vivid and intense feeling, increasing the intensity and brightness of the outfit. This ties in well with the futuristic sporting theme of the collection.

Red features marginally using 15% of the collection. The deep plum reds are low in chroma and high value and add an aggressive feel to the receding body of the collection.

Spring 2009

Black dominates this collection using 60% of the designs. It is used mainly as a block colour but also used throughout in accessories to accentuate colour and use and add fluidity to the collection.

Brown is used heavily and white is added to create beige and cream tints. This makes up around one third of the collection and gives a neutral calming feel.

Red is used on two skirts and a dress making up 8% of the collection. It is used as a point of difference paired with black to add an aggressive and warm feel.

Prints are featured heavily in this collection combining red, pink, black, yellow, blue and orange. They make up 38% of the collection and have a strong influence throughout accentuating the African inspired collection. The collection is broken into two one half focuses on bold use of block colour such as red and black and the other uses several colours in pattern, the collection is harmonised through the prints.

Overall the key colour combinations used throughout the collections are:
Accenting Colours

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