Miuccia Prada and Artistic Audacity

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This profile of Miuccia Prada from a couple of weeks back, ostensibly about fashion, turns into a meditation on the creative process:

She was charming from the moment we sat down, and filled, you might say, with the easy laughter of strong conviction, the mirth of certainty. And yet Prada is pleased to live within her contradictions. It may be the thing that makes her able to create menacing, interesting work: in her core she is equally unafraid of failure and success…

…“When you create something that is ‘out there,’ ” I asked her, “like kitchen utensils hanging on a skirt, do you tend to know in advance that this might not be commercial?”

“Yes. But I have to do it. There is an understanding that, when I do a show, no one will tell me what to do. Once, at the beginning of my career, I tried to listen to others and it was all wrong. I have to do what I think is right, and now everybody is happy that it is like this.”

Reminds me a bit of Nabokov’s defense that he repeats himself in his work: “Derivative writers seem versatile because they imitate many others, past and present. Artistic originality has only its own self to copy.”

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