Manolo's Prada Blog!

Even More Prada Marfa

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!

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

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

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?

The Magnificent Miuccia

September 15th, 2005.
By Manolo

Manolo says, in this month’s super gigantic Vogue magazine there is the article entitled “The Magnificicent Seven” about the seven designers who have “partaken of the dramatic romanticism that characterizes what is best and most directional in fashion today”. Of the course, our muse, the Miuccia, she is included in this group.

Beyond the polite niceties of mouthing congratulations, there is a reason people crush backstage to meet Miuccia Prada after her shows: They want to see, up close and personal, what Miuccia herself is wearing—because what Miuccia wants to wear, almost inevitably, is an accurate barometer of how women the world over will soon be dressing. If Miuccia’s in a full pleated skirt, you can bet you’ll be wanting to ditch anything that’s constricting from the waist down. If she has sprinkled a constellation of diamond brooches on a cardigan, you, too, will soon develop a yen for sparkly pins. Even the sight of a headband holding back the designer’s hair gives pause: Maybe you don’t have to be seven years old to get away with one?

Backstage you also have a chance to catch a few rare words from Miuccia, about what she thinks of fashion that particular moment. Prada’s pronouncements come down—a bit cryptic, sometimes puzzling—like utterings of the Delphic Oracle. Take, for instance, how she explained this latest fall collection to Vogue: “A femininity that is antique, dolente, and strong—like in some Chinese movies.” As a visual representation of this somewhat mysterious statement, she provided an image of the actress Li Gong, who in her recent movies—2046 and Eros—has revealed a dark, dramatic beauty, and worn clothes with the spare and elegant silhouette of the fifties.

Sure enough, you can find echoes of the Chinese cinema in Prada’s strict black coats with collars that suggest the necklines of silk robes, and dresses scattered with blooms that look like they belong on a fan from old Shanghai. But these are scudding references, moments briefly illuminated that quickly go dark again. Where does the crochet, and the passementerie and the grommets, fit into all of this?

That’s the real power of Prada. Nothing is ever literal or obvious or played out. She still nurtures the mystique that surrounds a designer toiling alone with her thoughts. And that, in an era where more than a few faces from the supermarket tabloids think that making clothes will be as easy as making pop music, is to be treasured.

Prada is also a woman making clothes for other women. This statement isn’t a preface to some specious argument about how, because of her gender, she is able to design better. But Prada does process her inspirations differently from the other (male) designers featured here. Like her contemporaries, she will abstract aesthetic possibilities from the cultural sources that interest her, but there’s also another impetus, too: She’s also always looking at ways to retool her own personal style.

“Clothes should always represent your vision of yourself,” she says, “or what you want to represent—even if it’s only for one night.” She might, for instance, watch Jeanne Moreau in François Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black, and then try to capture the composure and calm projected by Moreau’s on-screen wardrobe of short, severe black ensembles; this will set in motion a darker, more severe movement in her own wardrobe … and that, in turn, will be reflected on the runway. That’s why people leave a Prada show thinking that what she has done is so very, very new—and so very, very Prada.

There is one paragraph in this that is perhaps the smartest thing the Manolo he has read all year, and the writer, the Mark Holgate he is to be commended for it. Read it again.

That’s the real power of Prada. Nothing is ever literal or obvious or played out. She still nurtures the mystique that surrounds a designer toiling alone with her thoughts. And that, in an era where more than a few faces from the supermarket tabloids think that making clothes will be as easy as making pop music, is to be treasured.

This it is so correct that it almost takes the breath away. Many are the times when the Manolo he has lamented the fact that eveyone and their dogs think they can become the designer of the clothes. Designing the clothes at the level of the Miuccia it is the form of the art, and to believe that you can do it without the thought or the talent, it is ridiculous.

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More of the Homemade Ads

August 23rd, 2005.
By Manolo

Prada Riding Boots
Manolo says, here is another of the homemade ads from the Joel. It is quite good, no?

Homemade Prada Ad

August 20th, 2005.
By Manolo

Joel's Prada Ad
Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends, the Joel, who is the freelance designer of the graphics, has sent the Manolo this beautiful ad he has made for the Prada. Indeed, it is so good that someone should hire the Joel to do the designing.

The Katie Holmes Bag, Update

July 28th, 2005.
By Manolo

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend the Olivia she has written to tell the Manolo that she has finally found the Katie Holmes bag.

Hola, Manolo! You may remember me as the girl who asked about Katie Holmes’ purple Prada tote. Well, I saw it at the Neiman’s in New Jersey (in the purple canvas with crocodile trim, just like Katie’s), and it cost $2,140. It was lined in super luxurious leather, though with the crap I put in my handbags, it would be bound to be stained by a leaking pen or lip gloss tube. It also was too big for my needs. Gorgeous bag, though.

Many thanks to the Olivia for this information. The Manolo he has not been in one of the stores for many weeks. Soon it will be the time for the visit.

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Prada Denim

July 1st, 2005.
By Manolo

Manolo says, look the Prada it is starting it’s own line of the denim.

The cuts are traditional (no Dolce & Gabbana-style 3-inch rises here), and the seven different finishes range from dark blue to gray. Understated aesthetic aside, you’ll instantly recognize the designer’s touch, thanks to the familiar red tag on the right cuff, logo inside the watch pocket, and a just-short-of-subtle “Prada” stitched on the right rear pocket.

This it is indeed good news.

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Prada Menswear Spring/Summer 2006

June 28th, 2005.
By Manolo

Manolo says, Ayyyyyyy! Our Muse the Miuccia she has again triumphed with her clothing for the men. Here is the article from the beautiful Samurai Suzy about her show yesterday in the Milan.

In her fresh, clean-cut show and in her wise words, Miuccia Prada put into perspective the malaise pervading high fashion menswear, which other Italian designers have tried to face off with vivid color and graphic pattern for summer 2006.

“Fashion should become more egalitarian. I am not interested in dealing with a few sophisticated people,” Prada said. “Crisscrossing everything is the main issue: the need to face the huge world and to appeal to new countries and new customers.”

So for Prada, Monday’s show was a stark return to basics: to the skinny silhouette, to fabrics treated with techno shine, to nylon work-wear, to hosiery-fine sweaters and to symbols to identify the label. And being Prada, with her penchant for a communist/populist aesthetic, that meant stars (but not necessarily red) printed on shirts, neckties or decorating the new must-have nylon backpack – along with hearts to put soul into a sober collection.

The result was a show of those perfectly judged and wearable clothes on which Prada built its empire. But the reprise did not include her much-copied brief coat, short boxy suits or sour colors. In fact, Prince of Wales tailoring was classic, and there was a wry sweetness to an aqua blue suit, to a dusty pink shirt or a moss green sweater. Pants with softening pleats offered a new cut.

Why is Prada so often ahead of the pack? Because she has an ability to invent new menswear classics as if they had always existed. After a few seasons of kooky effects, any piece of this show – and that includes the head-wrap hats – could have walked right out on silvered sneakers or smart leather shoes onto the Milan streets. It was fashion for the real world and for its future.

Manolo says, this it is exactly right, exactly the reason the Manolo he loves the Miuccia, she makes the clothes for the real world. Her aesthetic it is egalitarian, and mostly functional, and yet, at the same of the time, it is also classic.

Here are the few of the pictures from the show.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
This sweater and pants and shirt, they are to the mind of the Manolo, superb. Perhaps they should not belong in the Spring/Summer line, but they are beautiful, and completely wearable.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
Again, this it is fashion for the real world. This, it is the way the young men they would really dress, in this casual manner.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
The Manolo he would not pair this shirt with this suit, but then the Manolo he is sometimes the overly stuffy traditionalist. However, having said that, the Manolo he is in the love with this suit.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan
This, as with many of the shirts in this collection, it is something that one could wear only if one was both young and very handsome. However, these pants, they would be suitable for one, like the Manolo, with the more traditional middle-aged male figure.

Prada, Spring/Summer 2006, Milan

And finally, the appearance of our muse, peeking out from behind the curtain in her customary and charming pose.

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