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More Recession Musings

In the past I have posted on Karl Lagerfelds musings on the economy and today Miuccia Prada weighs in saying:

"I don't know why this whole idea of customers moving away from expensive brands would apply to fashion only," she muses. "It should be across the board, then, because a sophisticated consumer buys expensive art, design and furniture."

Indeed, even though the downturn has put plans for Prada to float on the stock exchange on hold for the time being, the designer is feeling inspired by the downturn.

"I'm really pleased that we've always worked much more on the product than on the brand and I think this pays back," she tells WWD. "Crisis always pushes you to do better."

Now I do not know what its like in the USA because I have not been there since before the holidays, but this past weekend I was down on Bloor Street in Toronto. It was my birthday and My Guy and I usually scoot down to a hotel for the weekend and do some shopping. We hit all the high end stores and they were packed! Holt's on Saturday had NO change rooms and there was a ton of people standing waiting for me to give up mine. The Prada store was packed, as where all the others, Gucci, Chanel.....they all where full and seemed to be ringing in sales. Granted the sales where better then usual at this time of year - it seems they all pushed up their sales schedule by two or three weeks. I was still astounded though - to hear it on the news we are all broke and have lost our jobs - the stores certainly do not seem to be reflecting that!

Anyway I do not want to undermine the people who have been impacted by what has happened and having been completely broke at certain points of my life and for sometimes very long extended times of it, I know the pain and the worry, but again I am astounded at how it seems busier this year then last.

On a more fashion related note - let's go back to her statement on focusing on the product.

I have to tell you that I was not loving the Prada pieces on the runway this year - all those bikini tops - where the hell are you supposed to wear that stuff?
Like really?

I appreciate the reference to the 1940s pin-up girl but this is still not going to work in any meeting I have scheduled.

But when I actually saw some of the pieces in the store - I was pleasantly surprised to see most had been modified. The fabric is very cutting edge and like anything super new and different, they at first strike you as too strange to wear. I don't know how successful this part of the line will be but she does always push the envelope of textiles doesn't she?

The rest of the collection has some really gorgeous print dresses. Its funny how the weird stuff gets the fashion press, giving you a first impression of a rather unwearable collection and the really, really pretty wearable pieces just sort of wait to be found. I think its because all the girls who cover the shows are just hiding these so they can be sure to get them!
Or maybe I think that because that just what I would do?

Here's my picks from this collection:

None of these ended up as part of my birthday present, though I came this close to buying a cashmere wrap coat but the only one left was too big so I passed even though it was an amazing 60% off.

I am glad designers that sort of "hold the front" of the fashion lines are determined to stay strong and setting an example of "let's push forward".

If you stop you have NO chance - guaranteed, so you owe it to yourself to push to do better. Maybe we all just needed a bit of a crisis to remind ourselves that this is really what we should be doing all the time - good economy or bad.

And a few pretty dresses don't hurt either

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