The Met Museum to Spotlight Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli
By Max Berlinger
As a follow up to this year's immensely popular exhibit featuring the works of the deceased Alexander McQueen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute has chosen Miuccia Prada (right) and Elsa Schiaparelli as the subjects of next spring's show. Most people are familiar with the Prada label, and fashion insiders often look to her as a cerebral bellweather, with her collections that are not only visually arresting but often thought-provoking and emotional. Schiaparelli, on the other hand, may not be an instantly recognizable name to some. Her career in fashion design -- which peaked between the 1920s and the 1950s -- was groundbreaking for its time, and its influences are still felt today.
Per the Met's press release, this exhibit will focus on, "the striking affinities between these two Italian designers from different eras. 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."
Culled from the Costume Institute's archives and Prada's own catalog the curators hope to highlight Schiaparelli's collaborations with Surrealist artists and that effect on her work contrasted with Prada's development into one of the most revered designers currently working, often seen as a pioneer of postmodern design.
"The exhibition will explore how both women employed unconventional textiles, colors, and prints to play with conventional ideas of good and bad taste, and how they exploited whimsical fastenings, fanciful trompe l'oeil details, and deliberately rudimentary embroideries for strange and provocative outcomes," says the Museum. "Experimental technologies and modes of presentation will bring together masterworks from the designers in an unexpected series of conversations on the relationship between fashion and culture."
Read our profile on Miuccia Prada, by Tim Blanks, here.