The new Prada store on the corner of Broadway and Prince has already been touted as less retail outlet than museum of Koolhaasian architecture. But it’s got another gallery-esque angle: a costume institute’s worth of vintage Prada for sale. Not old leather bags from the pre-Miuccia, terminally unhip days, but greatest hits from collections as recent as 1995, revived for another consumer go-round. It’s a means of demonstrating that trend-driving Prada clothing is, in fact, timeless. Classic. There are platform shoes and checked raincoats that were photographed to death in ‘92, for example, and they’re not remainders either: Miuccia herself decides which pieces to resuscitate, and the factories produce limited runs. So if you’re still upset that you missed your chance to buy a tippet, or simply can’t believe that you once paid so much for a pair of shoes that were suddenly “out of season,” take heart. And don’t bother trekking to Woodbury Commons with your fingers crossed. Prepare to cough up retail for your second chance.
“I was born in 1974,” accessories designer Carol Muthiga says a little wistfully, “but I always wished that I was born in ‘64 so I could have experienced the style of the seventies.” Clearly, the fashion flock has had plenty of reasons recently to mine thrift stores and mothballed closets for macramé and bell-bottoms. And now there’s one more seventies trend to add to the mix: the Afro. Catherine Malandrino’s models – black and white – took to the spring runway wearing ‘fros of unimaginable circumference, and Muthiga’s line, Kipepeo, is heavy on Afro iconography (brooch, pictured, $37 at girlshop.com) that pays homage to the great blaxploitation stars of the seventies. So even if you can’t grow the ‘fro, you can certainly accessorize with one. “Look,” Muthiga says simply, “Pam Grier rocked. And you just don’t get enough of those superhero women anymore.”