Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Thursday, 10 May 2012 - Sunday, 19 August 2012
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Met's Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (accompanied by a lavish exhibition catalogue) explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two Italian designers from different eras. Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias's "Impossible Interviews" for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, the exhibition features orchestrated conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work. Iconic ensembles are presented with videos of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.
Striking photographs and insightful texts will illustrate the parallels between the two, including their preferences for interesting textiles and prints, eccentric colour palettes, and a bold and playful approach to styling and accessories. Schiaparelli, in the 1920s through the 50s, and Prada, from the late 1980s to today, exploited the narrative possibilities of prints, sought out unconventional textiles, played with ideas of good and bad taste, and manipulated scale for surrealistic outcomes. Contemporary art plays a major role in the work of these inventive women - Schiaparelli in her famous collaborations with Dali and Cocteau, and Prada via her Fondazione Prada. Blending the historic with the contemporary, new technologies and unconventional modes of presentation will bring the masterworks of both designers together into a grand conversation between the most important women fashion designers to ever emerge from Italy.