This Spring, The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents ‘Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations’ – an exhibition which explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and one of fashion’s most revered designers, Miuccia Prada – two Italian designers from different eras.
Prada also honours the opening of this highly anticipated exhibition with a special in store set up at its famous Broadway Epicenter store in New York.
The exhibition, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 10 through August 19, 2012 (preceded on May 7 by The Costume Institute Gala Benefit). Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias’s “Impossible Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton will originate fictive conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work.
“Given the role Surrealism and other art movements play in the designs of both Schiaparelli and Prada, it seems only fitting that their inventive creations be explored here at the Met. Schiaparelli’s collaborations with Dalí and Cocteau as well as Prada’s Fondazione Prada push art and fashion ever closer, in a direct, synergistic, and culturally redefining relationship.” – Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In the galleries, iconic ensembles by Schiaparelli and Prada will be presented with videos of simulated conversations between the two designers directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.
“Juxtaposing the work of Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada allows us to explore how the past enlightens the present and how the present enlivens the past,” said Harold Koda.
Schiaparelli, who worked in Paris from the 1920s until her house closed in 1954, was associated closely with the Surrealist movement and created such iconic pieces as the ‘Tear’ dress, the ‘Shoe’ hat, and the ‘Bug’ necklace. Prada, who holds a degree in political science, took over her family’s Milan-based business in 1978, and focuses on fashion that reflects the eclectic nature of Postmodernism.