Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Cult of the Ugly

As profiled in the June 2 New York Times Style Magazine, fashion designer Miuccia Prada is an unrepentant communist who has created a business worth $5 billion. As she explains to her Times interviewer, "When I started fashion was the worst place to be if you were a leftist feminist. It was horrid.... I suppose I felt guilty not trying to be doing something more important, more political."

Asked about the power of ugly, she replies, "This is a question close to the meaning of my job. Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people.... By definition good taste is horrible taste. I do have a healthy disrespect for those values." 

I would say that with her spring and fall 2013 collections, she is a success in her own terms.

Speaking of her spring collection, Prada declaims: "Dream is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good. Everything we used to feel historically, now you can't enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream."

Revolutionary iconoclasm is big business, it seems.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Best line in the whole post is this of yours:

"I would say that with her spring and fall 2013 collections, she is a success in her own terms."

It's funny that Prada sees ugliness as a revolutionary act (and revolution as a Good Thing)--she sounds as if she belongs in a cafe in Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Age of Reason," and you can't get much more passe than that.

However, seeing her here give the context to her efforts, it's clearer why the Devil wears Prada.