“Our throw-away culture has made obsolescence the measure of its dynamism… The pernicious effect of planned obsolescence is the erosion of excellence.”
Social action is fostered by experimentation. This is the concept behind Arcosanti, conceptual architect Paolo Soleri’s futuristic urban experiment erected in central Arizona USA in the 1970s—a work that has continued to evolve ever since. With Arcosanti, Soleri developed the concept of Arcology – the combination of architecture and ecology. It exists today, both in progress and in ruin, as a site for the reevaluation of human impact on land.
For the latest Miu Miu campaign, Arcosanti serves as location for a meeting of young minds. Outfitted in Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu Spring Summer ’18 collection are Elle Fanning, Adwoa Aboah, Olivia Anakwe, Edie Campbell, Oumie Jammeh, Faith Lynch, Rianne von Rompaey, and Cameron Russell. Wearing the designs of a woman renowned for nurturing experimental thinking, women who quite often use their social platforms to promote progressive attitudes congregate in and around the historically radical architecture.
For example, Elle Fanning is active in the gender equality-promoting program REALgirl. Adwoa Aboah’s efforts toward social progress include the media platform Gurls Talk, an ambassadorship with Save the Children, and work with Heads Together. Edie Campbell has written for and spoken to several publications with the distinct goal of combatting abuse in the fashion industry. Cameron Russell’s diverse forms of activism range in subject from her popular TED Talk on the injustices of the modeling industry and her equal-opportunity platform Space-Made, to her campaigns for climate change awareness: People’s Pilgrimage, Earth Day in Fashion, Flower Challenge, the film Climate Warriors, and more.
Working with Arcology in mind, Alasdair McLellan returns to visualize the latest Miu Miu collection: clothing that shares a certain utopian utility with Arcosanti. The spartan yet wistful nature of the futurist community is explored through the repurposing of decorative floral pattering and plaid layered onto classic work-wear silhouettes. Set against awesome concrete infrastructure, supple materials are accented with gemstones and wicker, leather and lace – treasures discovered in the sand. The Southwestern desert, a landscape associated with both the utilitarian and the utopian, freedom and its harsh physical limitations, stretches as far as the possibilities of experimentation, whether in the pursuit of preservation, justice, community, design, or the liberty of free spirits.