During the last century, the world of fashion has been explored as a language. At the beginning, a photograph of clothing needed a caption in order to be a meaningful image.
Since the sixties and leading up to the rise of social media, we experienced the introduction of the Fashion Photographer. Their photographs helped express and translate the message encapsulated within the clothes of the designer without the need of any captions.
During those years, the western world witnessed the development of a new language which combined clothes, body gestures and ideas in one whole and unique medium named Fashion.
When reviewing the evolution of fashion photography since the fifties, one can see it as an endless repertoire of those new fashion symbols and signs.
In 1929, Erté drew the first letter of his famous fashion alphabet and finished the last one in 1967, he intuitively proposed one of the first alphabetical classifications of the fashion language.
Since, there has been few attempts to collect and classify those families of signs; there is nevertheless not yet a true scientific classification of those fashion symbols.
As visual artists, we have actively explored the world of fashion for more than 25 years. During those years as typographers, we have also designed over 50 different typographic families, which have formed part of many cultural or commercial projects.
During those years in combining our expertise in both fashion and typography, we have also developed a collection of alphabets where we morphed and transformed fashion photographs into letters. “The Alphabet”, “The Alphamen”, “Figures”, “Punctuation” and most recently “The New Alphabet” are our attempt to extend the alphabetical classification of the language of fashion.
If well designed, each individual letter of an alphabet always recalls the family they are extracted from. It is a collection of very personal entities that can also be endlessly combined to create an even more singular whole such as a word, a slogan or a motto.
The alphabetical system allows typographers and the person using their typography to play with the idea of singularity versus plurality. The art of typographers is to imbed within the design of their alphabets a strong personal point of view but at the same time give space to the person that will use their creation to express their feelings or their ideas too.
We always looked at Miu Miu collections as very complex creative ecosystems embedded with sophisticated and strong messages, however they allow for the women wearing them to express their own personal feelings.
The Miu Miu collections have always explored the language of a very peculiar femininity, an outspoken and independent one. The Miu Miu girl has conviction and belief, her wardrobe is a kind of alphabetical system, which helps her express and define herself within a community.
This for us is the modernity and the strength of Miu Miu, instead of imposing a message it offers girls the chance to embody a variety of characters by wearing the clothes.
In the Perret building, instead of being enclosed within an immersive world, we wanted the Miu Miu show to feel more on the move and in dialogue with the city of Paris.
This season, instead of confining the Miu Miu show to an architectural folly, we have decided to amplify it by confronting it to an installation made only of black and white signs, symbols and indices.
This visual yet spatial installation is constructed with only two kinds of basic elements. Standard street posters 120 cm X 180 cm, and simple wooden stools.
The posters are used as a medium on which large-scale letters extracted from M/M’s personal alphabetical archive have been printed. The stools are stacked sporadically throughout the building. Above the audience hang two infinite loops. On one there is written the title of the visual installation enveloping the audience: “The Miu Miu Type, An ABC of Actions Behaviors and Comportment” and on the other there is displayed the complete collection of letters of this new Miu Miu type drawn in conjunction with Miu Miu 2018 fall winter collection.
We are bringing back the expressive and spontaneous quality of Miu Miu by introducing a new Miu Miu “language”, its own behavioral propaganda.
M/M (Paris) March 2018