Prada is above all a footwear and accessories label so however much we obsess over the clothes (and however much the retail industry jumps on every detail for inspiration), it’s the bags, the shoes, the sunglasses and the belts that really matter. I’ve already dealt with the clothes in Part One of this report, so now let’s look at the product that really generates the high-margin sales.
The formal small-to-mid-sized bag ruled.These bags were neat and (much as I hate the word) ‘ladylike’, even when offered up as a more casual option in quilted textiles. Bi-colour leathers, Tex-Mex hardware and metal rings attached to strips of leather added seasonal updates. My favourite? The least formal of the lot – the slouchy ‘gym kit’ bag with appliqué motifs.
Belts took centre stage and marked the waist as a focal point, even thought the multi-belt styling won’t actually work in the real world. Lace-up corset belts came in washed cottons, woollens and heavier leather trimmed with metallic roses. Meanwhile heavy leather belts came with dangling (and oversized) ‘charms. How to wear them? With anything – over dresses, shirts, coats and jackets.
Put the boot in
The boot was a key piece throughout the collection with several details that are likely to filter through to the high street, even if the cutout heels look like a directional detail too far. The patent leather bi-colour ankle boots are an easy hit while the ghillie lacing feels like a commercial quick win. Take note of those gilt-decorated wedge heels too and the bi-colour trekking boots with almost-flatform soles.
If the shoe fits
Patent leather and maryjane straps are two key seasonal trends but, as with the label’s boots, those wedge heels look like a direction to follow too, especially with heavy gilt decoration for the evening sandal market.
Take a note…
Forget earrings, rings, bracelets. The key ‘jewellery’ pieces here were mini notebooks dangling from belts or leather necklaces (not a practical – or comfortable – option in the latter case, I’d say). The giant key also made a statement – the statement being that heirloom jewellery and anything too delicate is SO last season.
Like Gucci, Prada also gave us oversized sunglasses in shapes that can be challenging to say the least. But I know from my own sunglass collection that if it’s cool enough, you’ll buy it, even if the style that actually suits you is the one that isn’t quite on-trend this season. Unlike Gucci, Prada stuck to one shape and worked it in different colours. I really like the purple .
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