-Welcome to the-
Walking into Harrods, a store filled to the brim with every lavish luxury you could possibly imagine, you can’t help but notice that something is different.
There is a presence.
Prada has invaded.
‘Pradasphere is a collection of archival objects arranged to reveal the complex obsessions of one of the worlds most influential brands. From across diverse fields of creative and cultural activity emerge core ideas – beauty, taste, embellishment, gender, vanity and power.’
The windows, the entrance, even the staircases have Prada proudly displayed. It does the job of teasing and enticing us up to the 4th floor where the pop up exhibition is situated.
Taking us through the origins and history of the brand, the exhibition starts with Mario and Martino Prada, the brothers who founded the brand.
Ornate glass cabinet (replicas from the original Prada store) encase historic beauties from the fashion house. Bags made from elephant skin with ivory clasps (as of course it was still legal in those times.) The original Prada tissue paper that purchases would have been wrapped in and men’s vanity cases where just some of the historical beauties I got to rest my eyes upon.
-20th century Prada-
-Gentleman’s shaving/vanity case-
-Original store wrapping paper-
It reads ‘Fratelli Prada’
(English: Prada Brothers)
“Pradasphere is the natural history museum of Prada”
Showcasing selected looks from the Prada archive, the exhibition divides (25 years ish) of Miuccia Prada’s (who inherited the company in 1978 from her mother Luisa Prada) women’s wear into themes. Or as it says in the exhibition – ‘Typologies.’
‘A cosmos of its own.
Composed of heavenly bodies set in a complex orbit.
A universe of contradictions and endless elaborations, noble causes and base temptations where idealism meets passion, fashion meets fiction.’
“I always loved aesthetics. Not particularly fashion, but an idea of beauty.”
“Fashion fosters clichés of beauty, but I want to tear them apart.”
Viewing the plethora of handbags that Prada has designed over the years was a highlight of mine. I found it interesting that although huge variations on style and colour, embellishments and texture, it was clear that across the seasons and years Prada always returns to a series of classic handbag styles.
Each collection has a fresh and unique approach, changing with each season whilst never entirely breaking away from the past.
As I made my way through the exhibition, it was hard to ignore the sheer beauty and craftsmanship that goes into the clothes and accessories of Prada. Taking a closer look you are reminded of the fine detail that is ever present in all of Miuccia Prada’s designs.
-Bejewelled bag from S/S 2014 collection-
Ancient techniques are still used today. Long hours of close detailed work and skill. With each piece in this exhibition you can see the level of care and effort that goes in to making it.
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is an instant are so quick.”
Leather jacket – Topshop
Silk vest – Zara
Jeans – H&M
Chelsea boots – Urban Outfitters
All in all the exhibition is a truly stunning display of Miuccia Prada’s vision and her individual way of thinking, making and looking at the contemporary world. The clothes are as iconic as the lady herself, an everlasting beacon of style and elegance.
If in London (or planning a trip) I urge everyone to go and see the beautiful world that Prada has created over the years.
The exhibition runs until the 29th of May (and it’s free!) and of course if you’re in Harrods anyway, it would be rude not to pop down to the food-hall and indulge on some sweet treats……wouldn’t it?!
Over and out,
Little Miss Winney x
4th floor Harrods London
2nd -29th May 2014