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Archive for October, 2005


Vandals at the Prada Marfa

Sunday, October 30th, 2005
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here is article from the Houston Press about the vandalism at the Prada Marfa.

Actually, the store sat right where it was intended to sit. But it didn’t last long in its unlikely environs. Just two days after the opening, someone broke in. The front door was smashed, and all the shoes and handbags inside vanished. In their place, two spray-painted messages appeared on the store’s exterior: “Dum Dum” and “Dumb.” The day after the crime, police began an investigation. Security stickers were tacked to nearby fence posts. An alarm system was installed, and sheriff’s deputies were brought in to protect the store at night. The building was repaired, and a new shipment of luxury goods was on the way.

In all the hubbub, it was easy to forget an important fact: The Prada store wasn’t a store at all. It was a $100,000 permanent art installation by Berlin-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, meant to comment upon Western affluence and gentrification. The door was never intended to be opened. Viewers were meant to stare through the windows at the goods inside but never handle them. The artists had asked Miuccia Prada to donate goods for display, and she had hand-picked six purses and 14 right shoes for the project.

The show’s funders knew the facade wouldn’t last. They were even quoted in The New York Times saying they expected vandals. “If someone spray-paints graffiti or a cowboy decides to use it for target practice or maybe a mouse or a muskrat makes a home in it, 50 years from now it will be a ruin that is a reflection of the time it was made,” said Yvonne Force Villareal, president of the Art Production Fund in New York. But they had hoped it would decay with time — not, apparently, overnight.

Down the road, vandalism might not have been such a big deal. “The fact for us is it happened quickly, too quickly, without any time for the art to exist,” said Art Production Fund co-founder/director Doreen Remen. Which is why the decision was made to clean up the mess, bring in new shoes and bags, and get security.

E-mailing from Berlin, the artists insisted they hadn’t expected vandals or an alarm system. And they didn’t expect the level of animosity the project generated.

The break-in brought a lot of attention to the installation. Gallery-hoppers in Marfa started scanning eBay daily, awaiting the re-emergence of the stolen goods, while Jeff Davis County Sheriff Tom Roberts told the local press he was on the lookout for a one-legged woman with a taste for high fashion.

Ha! The Sheriff he has the sense of the humor.

Prada on the Amazon

Thursday, October 27th, 2005
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, the Manolo he has not been paying the close attention to the Amazon.com lately, for he had not noticed that there is the very large selection of the Prada items available on the Amazon.

Small Rectangle Handbag
For the example, this small rectangular black nylon handbag it is one of the best selling of the accessory items on the Amazon, and for the good reason as it is nearly 75% off of the usual price.

This sort of the thing, the Prada at the Amazon.com, it is new to the Manolo.

The Paradox of Not Caring

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, the Sunday Times of the London they have the article about our muse the Miuccia Prada, published under the title In Praise of Modesty. Here is the excerpt.

If there is a fashion pioneer living today, it is Miuccia Prada. Her vision of the modern woman totally changed our attitude to sex and how we dress it up. She is fashion’s great provocateur, and when she sends models down the catwalk wearing sheer blouses buttoned severely to the neck, or black capes worn over beige shirts, or with belts pulled tightly round cardigans and socks up to the knees, you wonder, is her interest in the clothes at all, or in the opportunity to play intellectualised sexual games? Above all, how has she managed to take us all along her own special path?

When I put this to her, it’s obvious that she is not entirely sure of the answers herself. After all, she came into fashion through the back door, with no training and, initially at least, no great interest in the business. She had always had an abiding curiosity about appearance and what it says about us, though.

“I realise how powerful and important clothes are, especially for women,” she says. “They have to be useful for your life, of course, but they must also express your individual sentiment.” That Prada accepts that all fashion is role-play is what makes her such a force. She understands that the job of the truly ground-breaking designer is to decide on the roles, dress them and then present them in such a way that people all over the world want to join the cast.

Prada herself makes an unlikely éminence grise. She is neither dowdy, nor overwhelmingly chic. In fact, she looks entirely normal. Her figure is that of a woman in her fifties. Her hair is cut like most other women’s hair. She rarely wears make-up. Contrast her with another Italian icon, Donatella Versace, and you realise that she is a fashion outsider. Certainly, she avoids socialising with most other designers and runs a mile from social events. As she said to me, years ago: “I am a wife and a mother” — she has two teenage boys — “and I have many more interests than fashion. Fashion is just my job.”

But today she has amended her tune: “I’ve become impatient when people claim they don’t care about clothes. They still dress every morning, and if they are going to reject fashion, they still need clothes to show it. Style rebellion is still a form of self-expression.”

Indeed, as the Miuccia notes, claiming to not care about the clothes, to not be concerned about what one wears, it the paradox, for the clothes worn by one who claims not to care make as much the statement as those worn by one who dresses with the purpose.

These inescapable facts obtain: that the clothes they are always necessary, and that others they will always judge us by them. These are the reason why the Manolo he would have you dress with the purpose, to consider carefully what you would wear, and to think about the effect your clothes and how you wear them will have on others.

Of the course, this it does not mean that you must dress to please others, nor that you should follow the lowing herd, but rather that you should be conscious of the image you are projecting.

For the example, if you wish to project the image of carefree disdain for the high fashion, be aware that your dirty t-shirt of the Oakland Raiders, torn sweat pants, and flip-flops may not be conveying that exact message, may in the stead, be saying to the by passer, “Cross to the other side of the street, lest this person’s disdain for personal hygiene and grooming infect you with the parasites.”

Manolo says, the fashion, it is not the nuclear rocket brain surgery.

There are the simple rules for dressing that can be used by anyone to maximize the assests and diminish the faults, and thus project the worthy image. Likewise, there are the ways and reasons to deviate from these rules that will thus project the pleasing counter image. But the central necessity for properly using, and sometimes ignoring, the rules of the fashion and the clothing it is to be thoughtful, to consider your choices carefully, and to be aware that you are always, always, always projecting the image, even when you think you are not.

Even More Prada Marfa

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here is the official website for the Prada Marfa.

And, here is the long article with the pictures from the El Paso Times. The Manolo he is now considering making the trip out to the desert of the west Texas to see this most curious and entertaining piece of art.

The Updated Look!

Monday, October 24th, 2005
By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, the Manolo he has updated and improved the look of his much ignored Prada blog. And with the updated look comes the promise from the Manolo to again begin the frequent postings about the Prada, the Miuccia, and the thoughts of the Manolo about the Prada.

More Prada Marfa

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here is the link to the site that has more pictures of the very amusing Prada Marfa

P.S. Many thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend the Kim for the link.

Prada Marfa

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
By Manolo

Prada Marfa

Manolo says, from the Times of the New York comes this most amusing art story.

TEXAS, as big as it is, does not have a Prada store. It does have Neiman Marcus, which carries plenty of Prada merchandise, but the state cannot boast a free-standing store dedicated to Miuccia Prada’s expensive shoes and oddly shaped bags.

But come Saturday it will look as if a tornado had picked up a Prada store and dropped it on a desolate strip of U.S. 90 in West Texas. That is where Prada Marfa, a permanent sculpture by the Berlin artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset will be installed. (Actually it will go up in Valentine, Tex., about 26 miles outside Marfa, a town of 2,400 that has become a magnet for artists and art lovers.)

The sculpture is meant to look like a Prada store, with minimalist white stucco walls and a window display housing real Prada shoes and handbags from the fall collection. But there is no working door.

A few years ago, when much of the SoHo art scene was being chased to Chelsea by the proliferation of designer shops, Elmgreen & Dragset, as the artists are known, installed signs in the windows of a Chelsea gallery that read, “Prada, Coming Soon.” It was enough to temporarily fool and impress Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, who are producing Prada Marfa through their nonprofit Art Production Fund with support from Ballroom Marfa, a performance and alternative-art space in Marfa.

“We loved this proposal for many reasons,” Ms. Villareal said. “We loved the idea of the piece being born on Oct. 1 and that it will never again be maintained. If someone spray-paints graffiti or a cowboy decides to use it as target practice or maybe a mouse or a muskrat makes a home in it, 50 years from now it will be a ruin that is a reflection of the time it was made.”

The piece hints at subjects to which designers are sensitive: the unchecked growth of luxury brands, the temporal relevance of fashion, retail as tourism and a culture that is devoted to buying and selling. But Ms. Villareal said that Miuccia Prada had given the artists the permission to use her trademark for the work. She also picked out the shoes.

The Prada Marfa, it makes the Manolo laugh just thinking about it…but is it art?

Yes! It is Prada, no?






Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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