The Little Prince of Fashion
by ABARA Team on Feb 22, 2023
Dear Miss Bookworm,
Just unveiled to great hoo-ha, Thom Browne’s Fall 2023 collection was said to be inspired by The Little Prince, the 1943 novella that tells the story of a young boy visiting various planets including Earth. The book’s central theme of space travel, is a parable about adults who don’t understand anything, and the kid who understands everything, struck a chord with Browne. His surreal set featured a “crashed” old-fashioned aeroplane, had something of Rene Magritte about it, and genderless models paraded romper suits, coats and kilts in beautiful boucle tweeds with hanging from extra-terrestrial shoulders. There were hobble skirts, corsets and vintage look bags shaped like… clocks. There was also the instantly recognisable striped shirts, deconstructed jackets and wrap skirts.
The Little Prince is a perennial of the fashion type, and has inspired many fashion collections over the years. Written and illustrated by French aristocrat, writer, and military pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry during the war years, it takes on the style of a children's book, hiding a parable about life, adults, and human nature.
The Little Prince became Saint-Exupéry's most successful work, selling an estimated 140 million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the best-selling books in history. It has been translated into over 505 different languages, being the second most translated work ever published, ranked after the Bible. The Little Prince has been adapted into numerous forms, including audio books, plays, live stage, film, television, ballet, opera, and now a Netflix series.
Of all the books written in French over the past century, The Little Prince is surely the best loved in the most tongues. This is very strange, because the book’s meanings—its purpose and intent and moral—still seems opaque, 80 years after its debut. The whimsical parable, has bewitched, bothered and bewildered generations of readers.
The basic story tells of an aviator, downed in the desert encounters a strange young person, a boy really, who has travelled over time and space from his solitary home on a distant asteroid, where he lives alone with a single rose. The rose made him so miserable that he took a flock of birds to other planets. On this journey, he encounters various exotic creatures, such as a wise if cautious fox, among others.
The book’s desert setting derives from the autobiography of aviator Saint-Exupéry’s 1935 experience of having been lost for almost a week in the Arabian desert, with his memories of loneliness, hallucination, and enveloping beauty.
ABARA’s very own Vanity Case bag is also inspired by that period, and is modelled after the first vanity cases in fashion history, which were designed to carry the essentials of exciting air travel. Enjoy this parable in a bag: ABARA’s Vanity Case will help you travel from asteroid to desert, from fable to fantasy, in playful, retro style!