Prada, Tznius, and Unintended Irony

Last week I visited a museum exhibit of Prada clothes with my wife. She commented as we faced a row of long dresses with long sleeves and high neck lines: “You can always find something tznius to wear in her fashion lines.”

I look down at the explanation accommodating the case to see:

Prada: Many critics have said that my spring 2000 collection referenced surrealistic fashions. In truth, it referenced …the bourgeoisie, especially those depicted in the films of Buñuel and Antonioni. The entire collection was based on the pretense of propriety, the facade of the bourgeoisie.

Meaning her goal was to play and contradict the “pretense of propriety” of the bourgeoisie. She gave them the propriety they wanted but with hard edges, ugly colors, and ideas pushed to extremes.

Bad taste is part of our culture, ” Prada is quoted as saying,
And City Arts reviewer, Mona Molarsky allows the fact that “Prada’s clothes tend to have a dowdy line that conjures up images of harried housewives, Catholic schoolgirls and disheveled cross-dressers.” It is clear the choices Prada makes are deliberate. What underlies those choices, however, is a dose of condescension uglier than any of the clothes she might design. A nasty choice, I think, for a self-avowed Communist, when the idea of mocking the bourgeoisie is more appealing than teaching or leading.

Ironic Tznius?

Above, Miuccia Prada (born 1949) has a Ph.D. in political science specializing in Marxism and she studied mime for 5 years. Below, more Prada tznius.

One response to “Prada, Tznius, and Unintended Irony

  1. > “You can always find something tznius to wear in her fashion lines.”

    Shouldn’t the word be “tzanua”? or maybe “tznius-dik”?

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