As we look back at the fashion and music of Prince Rogers Nelson, like David Bowie who transitioned in late 2015, many fashion designers will draw inspiration or reference Prince in their spring 2017 collections. Prince’s fashion choices reflected his penchant toward silhouettes, fabrications and color spectrums that expanded the definitions of masculinity and femininity. At times his style bordered on the extravagant, even sometimes cartoonish. Still, it was all Prince Rogers Nelson in his undisputed glory, marching to the beat of his own fashion drum.
Fashion Reverie projected which fashion brands could successfully conjure up images of Prince in their spring 2017 collection while staying true to their brand DNA.
The obvious choice of designers/brands that will inject Prince’s fashion sensibility into their spring 2017 collection is Versace. It is well known that Donatella Versace was a very good friend to the “Purple One.” Versace was one of the few fashion shows that Prince ever attended. Prince was even friends to Gianni Versace before his untimely death.
Prince was also noted for wearing Versace prints and accessories. He attended the Versace H&M party in 2011 with Donatella and later in the evening performed “Purple Rain” for the attendees. That said; Fashion Reverie looking back at some of the brand’s menswear collections and observed that conjuring up images of Prince’s personal style would be an easy fit for Versace.
Though Jeremy Scott/Moschino’s menswear leans, at times, to the comical with a cartoon quality, it does fit in line with Prince’s fashion eclecticism. (The Flintstones and racecar driving seen through the lens of Louis XIV have inspired Scott/Moschino menswear in the past.) For Moschino fall 2016, Scott collaborated with British agritprop artists Gilbert & George to create an outré collection that saturated with color, just down Prince’s alley. For spring 2016 Scott’s eponymous brand was screwy homage to 60’s sci-fi movies. Again, wacky and wonderful; Prince would have been pleased!!
Dolce & Gabbana is another brand that would be a great fit for a Prince-inspired spring 2017 collection. From the early 2000s to just before his untimely death, Prince opted for a more tailored look, moving away from the gender bending, over-the-top looks of the 80s and 90s.
For spring 2016, Dolce & Gabbana injected a lot of floral prints into their men’s collection. And when you marry D&G’s version of floral prints—peacocks and dragons frolicking through a bamboo forest—with tailored suits, you have the re-invented modern Prince.
John Varvatos is the undisputed menswear designer of rock n’ roll fashion. That said; John Varvatos is a natural fit for a Prince-inspired spring 2017 collection.
Prince’s musical repertoire expanded pop, fusion jazz, gospel, R&B, punk, hip hop, and rock n’ roll genres. And Varvatos’ spring 2016 Edwardian aesthetic paired with an early 70s rock n’ roll sentimentality correspond to the current design aesthetic that Prince had evolved into.
Philipp Plein’s fall 2016 menswear collection referenced “Mad Max” and 80’s punk, something that Prince toyed with almost three decades ago. (Remember the “Dirty Mind” and “Controversy” tour.) Though this is classic Prince from the early 80s, Philipp Plein is right at the top of the list of menswear designers that could easily conjure up Prince for spring 2017.
—William S. Gooch