Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Really Measuring the Economy

Shopping at Prada is a no-no unless you are in reasonable shape, both physical and financial.  A que sera sera attitude is useful too, for what is on offer is what the shops sent back, what remained in stock at the manufacturers, and clothes for the mad, the bad, and the tiny.  Usually it's packed to the doors -  with wall to wall Japanese in the bags, shoes and leather jackets sections.

Prada clothes are lovely to wear; they are made of interesting and/or exotic materials, they stretch and fit and do quirky skirty things.  They are also the ultimate 'never buy clothes in a sale' trap.  What looks interestingly louche or daringly girly-patterny inside looks completely unwearable if not certifiable outside.

So there we were yesterday morning, as thin as we could make ourselves given that it was 4 January, out hunting for the rare cashmere, the blue suede boot, the bag big enough for everything and small enough to pass muster at Gatwick, the little velvet slipper gold-embroidered, the dress that while nothing on the hanger was transformed and transforming once engaged with bodily reality.  (Coats were found last year - and after all, what good is a coat that cannot do lots of winters?)

The place was a deserted space - a good thing the walls are mirrored for at least we could see ourselves reflected into quite a crowd.   No other difference though.  That shoe was available in 37 so you could cripple yourself or do without; the skirts and jackets are campionario   so are you feeling  thin,  punk? (or have you a sarta to move the buttons, ease the seams, lower the hemlines? ) It may seem sacrilegious to alter your Prada but many are called and few are chosen to meet the strict standards of Prada-sizing.

Prices were maintained, though didn't feel as high as they usually make anyone feel (ie faint), so they must have fallen in terms of  expectations.  But these were prices with attitude; if there were no customers at these prices then so be it, they certainly weren't coming down.  Which suggests that there's going to be quite a spring as soon as the winter stock is disposed of.  What may happen is that cheap clothes suppliers are going to be hit harder by materials' cost rises than those who supply in expensive materials  from the outset.  It's the mass-supply world that's going to have real price rises - and it's a funny old world when the economic choice is to pay as much as you possibly can for anything you buy.

(Angels are parading round in a duck egg blue, alpaca boucle jumper; and this evening, the eve of the Epiphany, will be laying out a stocking hoping it will be filled with a new handbag in softy-brown calf, and a violet-coloured knitted jacket with thin sleeves that come right down over the hands).


lilith said...

Oh how gorgeous (the Alpaca).

I have a Prada shirt I bought in a sale for £40 ten years ago. Its a man's shirt but all men who had looked at it (before I scooped it up) obviously decided that they would look a big girls blouse in it.

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hatfield girl said...

Very ambivalent, Prada clothes, L. At least the little tea dresses are not quite so little (I would have been surprised if a 10 year old could get into them two or three years ago) anymore.

hatfield girl said...

Well SWM, you sound like Miss Nettlefold when GKN was setting out.