Monday, November 30, 2009

TALK IS CHEAP: Designer Diffusion, Part III

An important message to designers: Stop making cheap clothes.

Allow me to clarify. I am not, nor have I ever been against the production of moderately priced high-fashion. I can appreciate the novelty of Manolo for Payless as much as the next girl, and yes, I'd line up 'round the block at 4 a.m. to get a first look, too. But honestly, I'm not buying that crap.
With names like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Jimmy Choo diving into mass market design, I have to ask: Where does it stop?

I know times are tough and Bergdorf's isn't buying the same way they used to, but can some of these design houses please hold out and hold on to their brand image? Make a few bucks at a discount retailer this year, and next year top tier clients at Sak's and Neiman's aren't going to look twice. Know why? Because the stuff at Target and H&M is shite.
Yes, it's exciting to have bought a new Luella Bartley jacket, but if it costs $30, chances are, it's falling apart in two months. The point of high fashion is quality, and in a recession like the one we're sinking deeper into, it would seem to me that focusing on durability in both manufacturing and style would get the job done much more effectively than selling hoards of mass produced $20 t-shirts in a store where I can also purchase tampons and cereal.

Sonia Rykiel, Zac Posen, Anna've hurt me enough. But now the Mulleavy sisters - whose work I've loved since they hit the scene with a collection of just 10 pieces in 2005 - are also hitting up the big red bull's eye this Sunday.

Alas...I guess I'll have to see what all the fuss is about.

Photo credit: Rodarte's first advertisement; Spring 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PUSHING PRADA: If the Devil Reads It, Then I Do, Too.

When the Devil wore Prada, heads turned, books sold and movies were made. Just ask Anne Hathaway how influential Miuccia has been to the world.

The Prada book 708 glossy pages stuffed with 3,885 thumbnail images of runway looks; ad campaigns spanning more than 20 years; each and every store and every design made by Ms. Prada since 1988; plus collection design details, including background on concept, production and materials – looks like a thick piece of heaven.

Just in time to not save money this Black Friday, I think heading to the Prada store in SoHo to purchase this $125 confection seems like a worthy cause. The two other monstrous coffee table tomes due out this year, from Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela, just don’t have the same cache for me.

Photo credit: Prada promotional material.