In August, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills turns into a playing fields for Italian in bermudas and fancy sunglasses. They stop, huddle and photograph stores they can happily see in Milan or Rome without having to shell out $2,000 for a flight but I understand, Rodeo Drive is a rite of passage for the first time tourist.
Other than visiting my hairdresser, I never happen to be on Rodeo Drive but, when I am there, I like popping into some of the empty stores (people who have money to shop on Rodeo don’t actually go to the stores) and look at clothes and jewellery I can only dream of. My personal version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
If you have been reading for a while, you will have noticed that both sofagirl and I are big admirers of Miuccia Prada or, rather, the woman she designs for: independent, worldly, and often uncomproming. Sometimes whimsical. Not all the collections captured our hearts but the latest AW 2013 has stayed with me, so I thought I would go check it out up close.
Deeply rooted in the hopeful times of the 50’s and 60’s, checkered sleeveless dresses are worn off the shoulders with warm sweaters underneath; playful gingham coats in pastel colors and, not featured on the runway, wonderful woolen tunics in pale pinks and blues that one could imagine worn with patent leather boots while singing “These boots were made for walking”. The black cashmere coats are what dreams are made of. And so are the prices. Nothing under $2,000.
But I found I could relate to the looks – maybe not the gingham coats I am too old for – so I sat down and scoured the collections of Zara, Boden, JCrew and H&M to see if I could recreate the mood.
“Do you like the collection?” the sales assistant asks, tearing herself away from invisible chores.
“I love it!” I say enthusiastically, fingering the same dress for the fifth time.
“Is there anything you would like to try on?”
“Better not waste your time” nor tease my wallet.
After reviewing half a dozen collections on line for a few days, while unable to locate a reproduction of the off the shoulders checkered dress I covet, I found some pretty alternatives that partly channel Ms. Prada’s vision at Zara’s and Boden’s.
ZARA has some low priced and flattering options.
BODEN affords colorful choices – I have had good luck with dresses and jackets in particular.