Designer Remix – Prada 2012 S/S
Ok, this is my first installment of Designer Remix, and its a doozy. Let me start out by saying that I am A FAN of all designers, being that I am one myself. In this industry, their are millions of us that are the “Unsung Heros” of the international design industry, formulating commercially viable collections for our employers,but we RARELY receive thanks. It IS NOT A GLAMOROUS profession,and many have left this aspect of the industry after learning about the hard work it takes to create apparel product. Long hours (many of us DO NOT get OT, because we all receive set salaries), disgruntle,entitled wealthy bosses, catty collegues that will sometimes do everything they can to make share do not reach that glass ceiling in the design industry, I have heard of extremely talented designers LOOSING their jobs, BECAUSE their directors felt threatened, ( this was my case in my last corporate position). With that being said, let us dissect this mess that I will affectionally name “The Prada Syndrome”. Lets start out with the creativity of the collection. The direction was flawless, wonderful idea. Tiger Woods meets Alice and Wonderland, I like it,……………….so what went wrong?
Always think about a product/apparel direction from all angles. Consider separates, woven,knits,accessories , and how they are going to merchandise together. This was not done. What was done, is that the designers looked as if they had a single vision, became “caught up” in the direction, but did not fully follow it through with commercially viable product ( at least product that a large demo-graphic can approach, other then rocked out golf fans). Getting “caught up ” in the hype and circumstance of a direction is very easy to do, but eventually ( and rather quickly) one has to “come down to earth” and see the collection from all angles. The way I would have approached this collection is staying true to the basics ( the pieces, and accessories that have allowed Prada its commercial viability), but maintaining a creative flair that is “trend current”. Case and point, the studs that were placed on some items, were an awesome idea, but was used sparingly, and on the wrong items, executed in ways that looked akward and unsophisticated (the studded golf cleat,………oh my). And further more, the golf cleat as the “accessories direction”, AWESOME IDEA!!! executed wrong. How about recreating the golf cleat in a “prada-look” or refabricating the golf cleat in sharkskin, ostrich skin, sexy hides that spoke luxury. The golf cleat was used directly as a MAJOR design element, unchanged, and it simply did not work. Making the golf cleat design more “streamline”, sophisticated would have looked a lot better. I noticed that were a staple of wonderful separates, and that is fine, but much of this product was poorly merchandised. The accessories looked akward, and went well with what was designed, but was not the “true prada look”. With such a original direction, the designer had the opportunity to design accessories that were simply beautiful and unique, but this was not taken advantage of. As any good sport, if im going to be critical, I will provide a visual of what I am talking about. In my design(s), I took a more sophisticated approach,subtle, but still powerful. If given the chance I would have prefabricated classics of prada, as well as introduce a few of my own. In doing this, I would not be ostracizing the customer that has been loyal to the brand for years, but attracting a new , younger type of customer. The separates that are daring, such as the wovens with studs would surely have a place, but these “adventurous pieces” would have been toned down with classics, that, themselves have been given new life.
The last fail (in my opinion) of this collection is the prints, and how awkwardly they were used. Prada had a prime opportunity to create daring , bold and beautiful prints, but instead opted for prints that looked as if they should be on the curtains of my grand moms kitchen windows. These weird prints were then used in awkward ways, all over printing on slacks, and shorts , as well as separates. The end result was laughable, and a skilled eye would have not done as such. If I would have used STILL these prints, but would have used them sparingly, on woven, and silk scarves, lining of accessories, etc.
Prada is trying hard to stay relevant in a world that is becoming increasingly unsophisticated concerning elegant fashions and accessories. Prada must understand that “bending” to these social trends can “taint” the image of the company indefinitely. The international fashion press loved the collection, BUT the international press IS NOT John who is buying a “look” when going out on the town. I predict that the flagship stores WILL NOT carry all of the “hap-hazard items” but carry them in certain stores, creating a “buzz of exclusivity” around these poorly designed items, in turn, creating a demand. Thats simply how the game is done, but will the average monied “joe blow” on wallstreet fall for these tactics. Probably not, as he will see this is a collection more akin to his younger brother, who by the way,…………can’t afford the price tag.
Just my 2 cents