The bowling shirt is a double-edged sword. Like the Hawaiian shirt, it has acquired a universal bad rep — no thanks to its stereotypical association with questionable characters in pop culture — but when made and worn right, this campy collectible can be more than just another signature dirtbag uniform. And this sleazy-cool side of the blade is what Mr Porter x Prada has turned to further exalt in their collaborative men’s capsule collection.
Come 25 April, Prada’s first digital-exclusive collection will launch on Mr Porter. Nostalgically drawing upon the ’50s and ’80s — the golden decades of bowling culture — Toby Bateman, managing director at Mr Porter, considered them an apt bridge. “The themes of fifties and eighties menswear were an effortless inspiration for the campaign and content, and allowed us to easily meld the worlds of Mr Porter and Prada,” he said.
The 32-piece range spans ready-to-wear and footwear for gents who don’t shy away from dressing with a daring edge of vintage sharpness. Think: Striped knit cardigans, blouson jackets made in suede and satin, graphic tees with reimagined Prada logos, pleated trousers with a flat front, and of course, classic-cut bowling shirts rendered in prints of pop cartoons, Hawaiian florals, madras and gingham checks. Its shoes include loafers, creepers, cap-toe derbies and sneakers in plush nubuck leather and deer skin.
While the complete campaign and a video filmed in New York are still kept under wraps, we can tell this range of retro gear is primed to have you religiously recycling the louche-chic staple. And to those who may have the haunting mental image of Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Sheen while they’re at it, remember: Another man’s sleaze can be your steez. Own it.
The Mr Porter x Prada capsule collection launches on 25 April here.