Prada $1,000 Fall/Winter 2022 Triangle Tank Review
The internet loves righteous outrage, and there’s no better opportunity to get fired up than when a seemingly out of touch luxury brand shows off its latest outrageously expensive shirt, coat, bag or sneakers. It still sparks large-scale performative outrage, the natural consequence of a Twitter-driven culture obsessed with callouts, applause, and undoes.
Savvy luxury brands, aware that all press is good press, have started willingly stirring the pot for free press.
Balenciaga, for example, masters this dark art. He’s got the $1,800 trash bags to prove it.
But modest Milanese luxury house Prada never indulges in shock value for the sake of financial value, which is exactly why we had to do an in-depth review of Prada’s $1,000 tank top, published in the part of its fall/winter 2022 collection.
Admittedly, this isn’t Prada’s first stab at a fancy tank top — it’s not even the craziest tank top around, not by a long shot.
While tank top fever gives stylish people the right to have bare arms, it’s actually become quite easy to find tops that drop the sleeves and raise the price, like Zegna’s knit undershirt and this uneven tank top by Rick Owens.
But these are directional garments clearly created with a designer’s vision in mind. At first glance, Prada’s tank top is reminiscent of the kind of ultra-ordinary base layer you might get from a brand like Hanes or Uniqlo. What is happening here?
Exactly what we were wondering. So we contacted Prada to borrow one of these high added value tanks.
When you familiarize yourself with Prada’s $1,000 tank top, you immediately realize one major difference between this fancy tank top and all your cheap tank tops: this thing barely stretches. It’s made from medium-lightweight cotton that’s soft to the touch and slightly dense, but completely lacking in the stretch you’d expect from a contemporary undershirt.
This is not a complaint, mind you, it’s just a fact.
It’s interesting, because it looks a bit like a capital-F fashion brand turning its nose up at the athleisure boom. Suffering for fashion and all that – if just not indulging in stretchy tight clothes = suffering.
On the other hand, if you’re not one of the off-duty models who’ve been flexing Prada tank tops in recent months, it’s going to be tough. Again, suffer for fashion and all that.
Prada’s tank top is cut thin and long, presumably so it can be tucked in easily. You don’t miss a thing if you put it in your pants, mind you. Almost everything from the neckline down looks like a pretty normal ribbed tank top, from the finish to the hem.
No, what your money really gets you is the large triangle-shaped Prada emblem placed in the chest of the tank top and embossed with the required branding.
It has weight, although it’s not at all uncomfortable or even really painful. Part of the secret is that Prada has cleverly designed its tank top with thick topstitched seams on either side of each strap, adding much-needed support to the neckline.
But even putting aside the meaty slab of metal, Prada has cut this tank top with a pretty deep neckline – strap support or not, expect the emblem to pull the top down a bit.
And that’s about it. What you see is what you get, otherwise.
Quoth that Wendy’s ad from a hundred years ago, where’s the beef?
Answer: there is no beef. And that’s the point.
At first, I was a bit disappointed that Prada’s $1,000 tank top didn’t look exactly like what I imagined a $1,000 tank top to look like.
It’s not heavy enough, it’s not delicately wispy, it’s not incredibly distinct from a regular ribbed cotton tank top.
So, I thought, how could anyone justify a $1,000 ribbed cotton tank top? Then I remembered the Prada emblem on his chest.
There is ample comparison to be made with Duchamp Fountain and the work of Maurizio Cattelan, where artists elevate an ordinary object to opulence simply as they say.
In this sense, the Prada tank top becomes the ultimate ready-made. It is an indistinct utilitarian garment filtered through the prism of late capitalism. I shop because I am.
That’s what makes Prada’s tank top more important as a conversation starter than, say, CELINE’s $900 hoodie or Bottega Veneta’s $1,000 jeans.
Is it art to sell thin cotton underwear for more than most people’s winter coats? Is it a gross excess? It’s all and nothing.
Unlike Balenciaga’s ultra-distressed sneakers, Prada’s $1,000 tank top isn’t exactly fashion gone wild, though.
The shock value comes not from the insane distress that makes the garment almost unwearable or from certain disturbing images, but from the extreme high-low contrast of a humble sweat shield repurposed as an object of opulence.
It’s a challenge, as modern art should be. Not that the Prada tank top is art, but the reaction it generates is the most interesting element of the garment.
Separating the sticker shock from the tank top makes it nearly useless. That knee-jerk reaction one gets when witnessing a $1,000 tank top is the point. Otherwise, there is nothing to say.
All the fancy clothes that don’t elicit a reaction, the stuff that doesn’t tickle us or challenge us, just goes down the drain. It’s nothing. Better to be bored than bored.
If there’s a feat here, it’s this: Prada made sure the world’s most basic piece of clothing wasn’t boring.