Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

January 7, 2010

In Which Miuccia Prada Breaks My Heart

Filed under: Music,PRADA!,Suck it,The Fat's in the Fire — Miss Plumcake @ 10:45 am

Oh Miuccia. Oh no. Please no. I expect this from Karl, but from you? I just…I expected better.

This really hurts.

I know you tend to use REALLY thin, REALLY young girls for your shows, but it never really bothered me. You’ve always been more about the cerebral side of fashion which apparently has no room for breasts and hips. Fine, whatever. It didn’t bother me because most of the stuff that actually goes into production, is pretty wearable for most body shapes (I said wearable, not available) so –as I’ve said before– whatever.

But now this?

Well, Prada signed on to do the costumes for the New York Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming production of Verdi’s Attila but I guess she’s never been to an opera in her life because she took one look at the extras  and said “I cannot clothe them! I need models!

Really Miu? Really? Did you REALLY think an OPERA COMPANY would not have FAT PEOPLE?

Now to be fair, from the stories I’ve read she was talking about supernumeraries –or “supers” as they’re known in the biz– who are non-speaking, non-singing performers. Their job is to fill stage space and lend visual believability to the opera by filling crowd scenes when the chorus just won’t do. They’re the extras of the opera and ballet world and the Met supers are legendary. Unfortunately, they don’t look like models, so they were fired.

The Met had to recast because “casting is at the discretion of the creative team. Due to a change in concept, the Met is in the process of recasting.”



So now my question is semantics in the sentence “I cannot clothe them” (emphasis mine).

Either Miuccia Prada is incapable of designing for normal body shapes which means she never should’ve graduated design school much less been lauded as a post-couture genius and we’ve all been seeing the Empress’ New Clothes for the past two decades  OR she just refused to clothe people who weren’t her ideal sample size and let people lose their jobs because of it.

Now,  I’ve seen and loved collection after collection of beautifully inspired and executed pieces that manage to be new and classic, post-post-modern and timeless at all once so I can’t help but think Prada possesses the skill and capability to design for any shape she damn well pleases, which just means one thing:

she refused to design clothes for people who weren’t models. She put people WHOSE JOB IS TO LOOK NORMAL out of a job because…wait for it…THEY LOOKED NORMAL.

It pains me to say it –really it truly, truly does– but Miuccia not only will you never get another penny from me but you can sit right next to Karl and Calvin on the naughty step. It hurts me more than it hurts you, but suck it, Miuccia Prada, and your goofy mitre too.



    There was no problem detected with the original image from Conde Nast, but I did a screen print to create a clean image file just in case. The image you see is definitely 100% clean. Thanks. –Plum

    Comment by that redhead — January 7, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  2. Wow, totally heartbreaking. How disappointing.

    Comment by Candice — January 7, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  3. How awful for those poor people who were basically told “You are far too fat to stand in the background at the opera. Away with you!”

    Must say, I’m also very disappointed at the Met for firing those people instead of just laughing in her face. I think perhaps a strongly worded letter to them might also be appropriate?

    Comment by Siege — January 7, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  4. *heddesk*

    THIS is one of the reasons I got out of the opera biz. I refer you to the little black dress kerfuffle that Debbie Voigt had a few years ago, which she RIGHTLY decried … and then went and had bariatric surgery which may or may not have changed her voice for the worse … depending on who you talk to.

    I’m so sick of the lookism that’s dominating opera at the expense of truly glorious voices.

    Comment by sarahbyrdd — January 7, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  5. I’m with Siege. The Met can join Karl, Calvin, and Miuccia on the Naughty Step, too.

    Suck it, all of you!

    Er…all of you on the Naughty step, not our readers who are – without exception – superfantastic people who would never pull such suckitude.

    Comment by Twistie — January 7, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  6. If the contract in question specifies that the “creative team” handles casting, then the Met likely had no choice but to fire these people. (I don’t care for scare quotes, but “creative” does seem like the last word to apply to someone whose response on being faced with something new is “But I don’t WANNA! I wanna do what I’ve ALWAYS done!”)

    I would also imagine that the director and the rest of that team are pretty much in agreement with Prada’s whim, but that is just a presumption.

    Comment by Mifty — January 7, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  7. I get tired of people who refuse to do their jobs, you know? It’s her job to design, not to design just for thin people. Talk about distorted thinking. At some point, this is like me refusing to teach undergrads who aren’t naturally good at math. Yes, it makes my job harder if you aren’t a mathematical reasoner. But it’s MY job to work with where a student is; it’s MY job to work with a person and figure it out. With PhD students, I can vet for certain traits. But my obligations and roles are different for younger students, and it’s *on me* to make it work as Tim would say.

    I’m betting at some point the Met will start to see the price tag associated with this nonsense and they’ll stop dealing with her.

    Comment by Lisa — January 7, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  8. Siege, I have just sent a strongly worded (meaning with cuss words) letter to the Met via their website. Did they really just want to do a runway show in lieu of Attila? Cause that’s what it looks like. Oh, and it looks really stupid, too.

    Comment by Mrs. Hendricks — January 7, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  9. Managgia! I have to boycot Prada now, too? Ralph Lauren I could deal with (not easily, mind you, there are some really cute dresses coming out now, but ok). But PRADA?! a gli mortacci suoi (miu miu will understand what I just said)

    Comment by klee — January 7, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  10. Booo! Hiss! Curtain, please.

    Comment by Miss Janey — January 7, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

  11. I have to say – I’m really disappointed. And now they have… a crowd scene of models?!?

    Comment by jeannemarie — January 7, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  12. Miuccia is a great big dumbo.

    Comment by ChaChaHeels — January 7, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  13. So she’s basically admitting that she’s not skilled enough to dress various body types. Can I have my own label and the backing of multi-million dollar corporations now?

    Comment by Lila — January 7, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  14. That is absolutely heartbreaking. I was shocked when I got to the bit about how she CANNOT clothe them. A designer is supposed to be able to clothe anyone. And make the clothes look good on them. It’s a sad story.

    Comment by All Women Stalker — January 8, 2010 @ 3:57 am

  15. That is just sad. I’ve always held Prada in high esteem, because of her background, her designs and simply her looks because she looks like a normal woman and not a fashion zombie like Wintour.
    I also really detest this trend in fashion designing opera. Why on earth does anyone want an opera with riot police or protesters? Why does opera have to be “modernized” until it is unrecognizable? I’ve seen Wagner’s Valkyrie done on swirling building cranes which was great unintentional comedy but silly none the less.
    What is wrong with showing opera the way it was intended to in it’s time in historical costumes?
    All this interpretation stuff really put me off opera.

    Comment by Cara — January 8, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  16. Does the Met not shown over time that their own costumer designers do a super fantastic job? Why do they feel the need to bring in a “designer” who admits she either won’t or is incapable of designing for normal people?

    Excellent rant Plumcake! I hope you send it to the Met, and everyone else sends it to the Met (with your permission). You are incredibly eloquent in anger.

    Anyway, another letter from me to the Met…and another figurative stake in the heart of an idiotic fashion designer. Good people who needs jobs lose them because some prima donna can’t do her job. How do you reach such a level of callousness?

    Comment by Christine — January 8, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  17. Christine, it’s publicity pure and simple. Just like the designer gowns for Renee Fleming in the 2008 Met opening ( and in last year’s production of “Thais”.

    And BTW, Zeffirelli can suck it too:

    Comment by sarahbyrdd — January 8, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  18. I don’t loved modernized operas but I don’t necessarily hate them either. In fact there are some productions I’d LOVE to see: Alexander McQueen doing Hansel and Gretel would be amazing. Or John Galliano doing Die Fledermaus. Just don’t mess with the score or the book!

    Comment by Plumcake — January 8, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  19. Agreed, Plumcake, those sound amazing. I’m just so tired of the modernized opera, in Germany it usually means something like “Let’s cover the whole stage in pig’s blood!” “Yeah, and the singers should wear burlap and blood lava” “Or bikinis made of minced meat!” “Or be totally naked!”
    They try to fill the opera with more meaning and it usually ends up being rather pretentious and silly.
    I’m all for more glamour, though.
    (Galliano, methinks, would himself make an extraordinary witch in Hänsel and Gretel, if he could sing.)

    Comment by Cara — January 8, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

  20. Here’s what I don’t get with Zeffirelli–he also whined about her age, which is honestly just irritating. This isn’t Hollywood where the *only* thing that qualifies you for a role is how you look (unfortunately). It’s about the voices here, and many operas of my youth were sung by old guys who had retained their tenors who were facing grouchy fathers played by baritones in their 20s and lots of stage grey in their hair.

    I repeat: opera isn’t about reality. It doesn’t matter how old your heroine is in real life, or whether you think guys will find her to be a “hot young thing” in real life. Not. About. Reality. For example, Isolde basically dies of nothing and the prince always falls in love with Turandot even though she’s a homicidal maniac.

    Comment by Lisa — January 8, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  21. Indeed, opera fans have been cheerfully indifferent to appearance since there’s been opera. But opera companies worry. And so they hire consultants.

    And consultants tell opera companies that hiring only pretty singers — even if their voices are not quite so nice as those nasty old fat singers’ — will draw some until-now-hidden new fan base to the art.

    Because apparently there is some vast number of people who will sit through three or four hours of mad bombast (I adore opera, to be clear) so they can gaze at good-looking people. You know, since good-looking people are so incredibly hard to find in popular culture.

    (I work in an area of the entertainment business that is riddled with consultants. It sours one on the breed.)

    Comment by Mifty — January 8, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  22. What a self-serving asshole. Yes, I am being bitchy but Miuccia, while not plus sized, is hardly a rare beauty herself.

    Comment by Lilly Munster — January 8, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

  23. “..I cannot clothe them!” … really.

    I can hardly believe that the Met compromised on this one. … they absolutely do have some control over this and I hope every one is registering their displeasure with them as well.

    Comment by Susan — January 9, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  24. You know, Mifty, I have been thinking about your comment, and it started me down the line of what opera needs is oiled woman lolling around on cars, like a Carl’s Jr commercial.

    Comment by Lisa — January 10, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

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