A Possible Conversation

A Possible Conversation

Back in February at the preview event for the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition mounted by the Met Museum with the help of Conde Nast and Amazon, I did say that I was intrigued enough by how the physical conversation part of the exhibition would take place, to catch the exhibition in New York and see it for myself.  I kept to my word for once!  I'm still currently in New York and managed to catch it on Friday, as it closes today (early bird New York readers can still go and see it today if they're reading this post as it goes live).  




A thorough look at Met's museum website will already give you all the video footage of the Baz Luhrman-directed films, featuring the conversations between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli, played by the actress Judy Davis.  "Schiap"s dialogue is constructed from her autobiography, Shocking Life (her signature shade of pink is termed as shocking today) with some creative license in gestures, ad-libbing, relying on Miuccia reacting to this interpretation of Schiap.  It's seeing these videos in context of the exhibition that really brings them to life.  You're eavesdropping on these fantastical and yet almost-plausible conversations that don't seem forced at all whilst looking at their work, analysing their similarity and differences in approach.  It's interesting to see so much of Miuccia all at once, as she comes across as candid, warm and off-guard in these videos,as interviews with her are rare and her post-show soundbites, often cryptic.  Davis did a marvellous job of portraying Schiaparelli, being the more openly boisterous of the two, chiding and joking with Miuccia and ultimately convincing us that such a conversation could have actually taken place if the two designers were contemporaries of one another.   

Whilst the exhibition is arranged in literal pairings of Schiaparelli and Prada pieces through various themes, it is these conversations and the running stream of quotations from both designers that really underline the complexity and nuances of this most genius and unpreceded pairing of two designers in one exhibition.  




We begin with the Waist Up/Waist Down portion of the exhibition which demonstrates a very marked difference between Prada and Schiarelli's work.  Schiaparelli lived in a society where sitting down at a cafe and looking your best from the waist up was important and so the shoulders are accentuated and lavish embroidery covers the jackets.  Prada prefers to place emphasis on skirts, allowing her to be experimental and playful with this ultimate symbol of sartorial female identity.  

Schiaparelli: [When I began my career, I] did not know anything about dressmaking. [My] ignorance in this matter was supreme. Therefore my courage was without limit and blind. [My] designs [became] more and more daring. Up with the shoulders! Bring the bust back into its own, pad the shoulders and stop the ugly slouch! Raise the waist to its forgotten original place! 

Prada: The skirt has always been one of my primary focuses. Everyone knows that you have to be very beautiful from the waist up, and less sophisticated from the waist down. But to me the waist up is more spiritual, more intellectual, while the waist down is more basic, more grounded. It’s about sex. It’s about making love. It’s about life. It’s about giving birth.

IMG_9867 IMG_9879

IMG_9902Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Jacket, winter 1938‚Äì39 Black silk velvet embroidered with mirrors, beads and metallic thread and sequins with black plastic cameo buttons // Miuccia Prada Skirt, spring/summer 1999 Grey silk organza embroidered with mirrors and leather tabs.

IMG_9911Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Jacket, winter 1936‚Äì37 Black wool embroidered with images of palm trees in gold paillettes and gold metal thread // Miuccia Prada Shorts, spring/summer 2010 Grey silk duchesse satin printed with palm trees


IMG_9934Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Jacket, 1937‚Äì38 Green silk velvet embroidered with metallic thread and red and pink rhinestones with half dome-shaped plastic buttons inset with flowers // Miuccia Prada Skirt, spring/summer 2008 Light green organza printed with illustrations by James Jean

This separation of body zones continues with Neck Up /Knees Down.  For Schiaparelli, placing an often surreal and strange object on the head was shocking and revolutionary in her day.  Prada finds the notion too ridiculous for the 20th/21st century and so channels all her whimsical desires into a shoe.  

Schiaparelli: Dal√≠ was a constant caller. We devised together … the black hat in the form of a shoe with a Shocking velvet heel standing up like a small column. … There was another hat resembling a lamb cutlet with a white frill on the bone, and this, more than anything else, contributed to [my] fame for eccentricity.

Prada: I‚Äôm more known for my shoes. For me, shoes are where I can express my fantasy, my imagination. I think you have much more freedom to be outrageous with shoes. 

IMG_9936 IMG_9941Elsa Schiaparelli Hat, late 1940s ‚Äì early 1950s Cream silk foulard printed with bees // Miuccia Prada Shoes, autumn/winter 2012‚Äì13 Black leather appliqued with white and red flowers, 

 Elsa Schiaparelli Doll Hat, summer 1940 Blue and white striped cotton and grey straw with red cotton carnation and blue silk grosgrain ribbon // Miuccia Prada Shoes, spring/summer 2011 Black leather, natural rope, and blue, white and grey rubber

IMG_9962Elsa Schiaparelli/Jean Clement Necklace, autumn 1938 Clear Rhodoid with painted metal insects // Miuccia Prada Shoes, spring/summer 2010 Clear and pink plastic with silver metal and clear plastic beads

Elsa Schiaparelli Necklace, autumn 1938 Gold metal with orange and green enameled metal leaves // Miuccia Prada Shoes, spring/summer 1997 Cream, brown and red leather appliqued with red leather leaves

Elsa Schiaparelli Necklace, 1938 Enameled metal roses // Miuccia Prada Shoes, spring/summer 2008 Purple, pink and yellow suede appliqued with flowers

IMG_9945Elsa Schiaparelli Veil, spring 1938 Cotton net embroidered with blue glass bugle beads

The next gallery explores the themes that both Schiaparelli and Prada explore.  It's interesting that the exhibition chooses the word "Chic" as the umbrella term for these themes as the definition of the word perhaps contradicts with what both Schiaparelli and Prada sought to present with their work.  Or that they successfully overturned our perceptions of what that word means.  In Schiaparelli's day, she took considerable risks, causing ripples of sensation in her choice of motifs to shock her customers into accepting her kind of "chic".  Prada has and still does constantly make us question our ideas of what constitutes good taste by bucking the status quo, looking ahead to a curve that does not yet exist.

Hard chic explores the two designers' more subdued looks and the fact that both appealed to the "intellectuals" of their day.  I'm reminded of the success of Prada's original 1985 nylon backpack, an item that made functional sense and represents Prada's respect for her customer.    

Schiaparelli: Curiously enough, in spite of [my] apparent craziness and love of fun and gags, [my] greatest fans were the ultra-smart and conservative women, wives of diplomats and bankers, millionaires and artists, who liked severe suits and plain black dresses. 

Prada: I‚Äôm told that the women who wear my clothes vary dramatically. Of course, I‚Äôd hope that they were clever and interesting. I‚Äôd also hope that my clothes made their lives a little easier, that they made them feel happier.

IMG_9965Elsa Schiaparelli Day Suit, summer 1940 Navy wool melton with brass buttons, Elsa Schiaparelli Day Suit, 1938–39 Black wool jersey with brass buttons, Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 1994–95 Black wool knit with metal buttons

IMG_9968Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 1994–95 Black nylon with silver buttons, Miuccia Prada Coat, autumn/winter 1994–95 Black nylon and leather with silver buttons and zips

Naif Chic is probably my personal favourite section as I'm a firm believer in the designers' motto that fashion shouldn't come with an age limit.  Prada and Schiaparelli's flirtations with childrens' clothes and playful motifs are not just mere surface decoration nor are they meant to be taken literally as clothes for childsplay.  They both succeed in turning the naive into something more considered and substantial.  Look at the success of Prada's S/S 11 baroque collection – who knew monkeys and bananas could resonate with such a wide audience.   Schiaparelli's circus collection is eerily similar in its tongue-in-cheek approach.  

Prada: Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder. Thinking about age all the time is the biggest prison women can make for themselves.

Schiaparelli: Ninety percent [of women] are afraid of being conspicuous and of what people will say. So they buy a grey suit. They should dare to be different. Although I am very shy … I have never been shy of appearing in public in the most fantastic and personal get up.



IMG_9993Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 2008 Lavender silk organza printed with illustrations by James Jean // Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Dress, summer 1937 Pink silk organza printed with butterflies



IMG_9998Elsa Schiaparelli Boléro, summer 1938 Pink silk crepe embroidered with circus elephants and acrobats in silk thread, pearls, and mirrors // Elsa Schiaparelli Boléro, summer 1938 Grey silk satin embroidered with circus horses in silk and metallic thread and pearls with gold metallic tassels

IMG_0009Elsa Schiaparelli Jacket, 1938 “Shocking pink” silk satin woven with circus horses in blue silk and gold metallic thread with acrobat-shaped buttons and Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Dress and Veil, summer 1938 Blue silk crepe printed with carousel motifs

IMG_0010Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 2011 Top of white cotton canvas embroidered with monkeys, bananas, and baroque scrolls; skirt of pink and black striped cotton canvas and Miuccia Prada Dress, spring/summer 2011 Orange cotton canvas printed with black stripes, cherubs, monkeys, and baroque scrolls

The section Ugly Chic comes a close second as it's a neat summation of what both Prada and Schiaparelli have fought against and embraced.  Schiaparelli was told as a child that she was ugly and attempting to plant flowers in her mouth and ears, an act that precedes her later life as someone who embraces all facets of beauty, perceived or not.  Prada is of course famed for making the ugly, cool.  It's not that either designer rejects beauty at face value but that true beauty isn't just about surface and that it come in different guises be it frumpy sweaters or geometric flares.

Prada: If I have done anything, it is to make ugly appealing. In fact, most of my work is concerned with destroying‚Äîor at least deconstructing‚Äîconventional ideas of beauty.  Fashion fosters clich√©s of beauty, but I want to tear them apart.

Schiaparelli: A woman friend … came to see me one day. She … wore a sweater that though plain was different from any I had yet seen. . . . It was hand-knitted and had . . . a steady look. . . . [It] was definitely ugly in colour and shape, and though it was a bit elastic it did not stretch like other sweaters. [It had been made by] an Armenian peasant who lived with her husband. I went to see them [and asked them to copy a design by my own hand.] The first sweater was not a success. . . . The second sweater was better. The third I thought sensational. … Anita Loos, at the height of her career with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, was my first private customer, and I was boosted, with her help, to fame. 

IMG_0028Elsa Schiaparelli Sweater, early 1930s Black wool knit with yellow and white argyle pattern and Elsa Schiaparelli Sweater, early 1930s Green wool knit with black and yellow trompe l’oeil pattern of tie, collar, and cuffs

IMG_0031Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 1996 Jacket of white linen and cotton tweed printed in chartreuse trompe l’oeil tweed pattern; top of white wool knit printed in green trompe l’oeil tweed pattern; skirt of white stretch twill printed in green trompe l’oeil tweed pattern and Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 1996 Jacket and skirt of white linen and cotton tweed printed in mustard trompe l’oeil tweed pattern; top of white wool knit printed in purple trompe l’oeil tweed pattern

IMG_0038Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 2012–13 Brown wool jacquard in allover black and yellow geometric pattern

The Exotic Body explores the way both designers looked to other cultures without creating cheesy pastiche or replicas.  

Prada: When I reference other cultures, it is usually a vehicle to express or present an idea. In my spring 2002 collection, I used lamé as an experiment in making gold conceptual. I knew that if I used a little it would look bourgeois, but if I used a lot it would look original and provocative.

Schiaparelli: My father [taught] Orientalism at the University of Rome. [But it was my mother’s sister who] awakened the love of eastern things which I have retained throughout my life.

IMG_9984Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Jacket, ca. 1938 Brown silk and linen blend woven with copper metallic thread flowers and latticework and embroidered with copper metallic thread petals and scrollwork with rhinestones and Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Skirt, winter 1936–37 Red silk and gold metallic ribbed weave and gold lame // Miuccia Prada Dress, spring/summer 2002 Blue and gold matelassé lurex and Miuccia Prada Dress, spring/summer 2002 Blue and gold and red and gold matelassé lurex

The Classical Body demonstrates that both designers have an understanding of the fundamentals and advantages of classical beauty and its history.  Prada may try to subvert those ideas whereas Schiaparelli adhered to them because of her belief in flattering the body.  Ultimately, both are also advocators of craftsmanship, however flighty or fanciful their ideas or themes are.

Schiaparelli: [I try] to make women both slim and elegant. With a reminiscence of great elegance and dignity, I [have often] turned to the Regency.

Prada: My so-called “Sexy” collection included “goddess” dresses. They were made out of draped silk jersey. I hated them. I thought they were too beautiful. It’s not that I dislike beautiful dresses, it’s that I dislike clichés of beauty. A beautiful dress has to be draped or bias-cut, which is why I rarely employ these techniques.

IMG_0003Miuccia Prada Dress, spring/summer 2009 Ivory duchesse cotton // Elsa Schiaparelli Dress, 1936 Ivory silk velvet 

IMG_0015-10-31-17-951Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 1999–2000 Brown silk organza embroidered with glass, leather leaves and metal grommets and Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 1999–2000 Jacket of brown silk tulle woven with leaves and embroidered with brown beads; skirt of camel wool twill embroidered with leather leaves and metal grommets

IMG_0025Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Dress, autumn 1938 Black silk crepe embroidered with leaves and flowers in plastic and silk thread

IMG_0004Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 2004–5 Dress of ivory ombré silk chiffon embroidered with clear and gold paillettes, rhinestones, and beads; sweater of brown ombré alpaca knit // Elsa Schiaparelli Court Presentation Ensemble, autumn 1938 Dress of ivory silk marquisine and train of ivory silk organza embroidered with leaves and flowers in silver foil, rhinestones, and beads


The final gallery is a more general umbrella housing ensembles that relate to the Surreal Body.  For Schiaparelli, this is more apparent and direct link to Surrealism because of her collaborations with artists such as Salvador Dali.  For Prada, this is more underhand and often more subtle in the resulting garments.  Both use unique choices of materials and motifs as a way of expressing these unexpected and fantastical (but never crossing over to laughable) ideas but the route of thought to get to these outfits are wildly different and this was definitely underlined in the conversation between the two women.

Prada: There’s often an element of fantasy in my work. My fall 2004 collection, for instance, was based on computer-generated representations of women and was partly inspired by the book Digital Beauties, which explores the concept of imaginary beauty taken from the Internet.

Schiaparelli: At [moments] of restriction, fantasy alone [can] lift people above dreariness. Fantasy is a flower that does not flourish on passivity.

Prada: If I am known for anything, it is my use of unusual materials. The origin of thought for many of my collections is materials, such as my fall 2007 collection. Fabrics melded into each other, so one fabric became another, became another, became another. Sometimes, when you have simple shapes and you want to express profound concepts, you have to introduce complexity into your materials.

Schiaparelli: [In respect to materials] I have launched myriads of novelties, even when the launching of them was hazardous—tree bark, cellophane, straw, and even glass.

IMG_0047IMG_0048Miuccia Prada Dress, autumn/winter 2007–8 Black and brown ombré wool cloquet // Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Dress, spring 1934 "Treebark” rayon crepe

IMG_0067 IMG_0065Elsa Schiaparelli/Salvador Dali Suit Embroidered with Lips and "Shoe" Hat, winter 1937‚Äì38 Photograph by George Saad, L‚ÄôOfficiel, October 1937 // Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 2000 Robe of blue silk chiffon and synthetic mesh; skirt of black silk chiffon appliqued with white silk chiffon printed with grey lips and embroidered with metal grommets

IMG_0074Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 2000 Cardigan of light brown cashmere and silk; skirt of white silk crepe printed with lips

IMG_0073Elsa Schiaparelli/Jean Cocteau Coat, autumn 1937 Blue (faded to lavender) silk and synthetic knit embroidered with an optical illusion in metal and silk thread and appliqued with pink silk flowers

IMG_0078 IMG_0080Elsa Schiaparelli Evening Dress, summer 1935 Black silk crepe de chine printed with matchsticks// Miuccia Prada Ensemble, spring/summer 2000 Cardigan of purple cashmere and silk; skirt of white silk crepe printed with lipsticks

IMG_0096 IMG_0092Miuccia Prada Dress, autumn/winter 2008–9 Orange and black ombré silk ottoman with collar of nude stretch silk // Elsa Schiaparelli/Antoine Wig, ca. 1933 Photograph of Elsa Schiaparelli by Man Ray, ca. 1933

IMG_0097 IMG_0098Elsa Schiaparelli/Salvador Dali "Inkpot" Hat, summer 1938 Photograph by Studio Dorvyne, L’Officiel, April 1938 // Miuccia Prada Dress, spring/summer 2007 Black silk satin embroidered with pressed metal "bottle tops"

IMG_0102IMG_0106Miuccia Prada Dress, autumn/winter 2007–8 Brown and orange ombré wool cloquet with orange plastic fringe and feathers // Elsa Schiaparelli Ensemble, ca. 1934 Photograph by Toni von Horn, Harper’s Bazaar, April 1934

IMG_0109 IMG_0107Elsa Schiaparelli Ensemble, ca. 1938 // Miuccia Prada Ensemble, autumn/winter 2011–12 Apricot wool and synthetic double knit, and synthetic fur

Their discussion about whether a designer is an artist creates an amicable rift between the two women.  Prada asserts that calling herself an artist feels old-fashioned and that her work is far more accessible than that of an artist.  Schiaparelli of course in her day created waves and revolution by collaborating with an artist, which is something that Prada respects but cannot bring herself to do because she feels she doesn't need artists to make her work more appealing.  

Schiaparelli: Artists took much more part in the life and development of fashion than they do now.

Prada: Nowadays, fashion no longer needs art to validate itself. Artists have come to realize the power of fashion to respond to current events quickly and critically.  Many artists that I know are envious of fashion‚Äôs immediacy. They‚Äôre also envious of fashion‚Äôs ability to shape identity.   don‚Äôt collaborate with artists in the field of fashion because I want to be successful‚Äîboth creatively and commercially‚Äîon my own. I don‚Äôt want, and I don‚Äôt need, artists to make my work more appealing.

Schiaparelli: Dress designing . . . is to me not a profession but an art.  A dress cannot just hang like a painting on the wall, or like a book remain intact and live a long and sheltered life. A dress has no life of its own unless it is worn, and as soon as this happens another personality takes over from you and animates it, or tries to, glorifies or destroys it, or makes it into a song of beauty.

Prada: I’ve never wanted to be an artist. I’ve never wanted to be called an artist. The term itself seems old-fashioned. It’s a term that does not relate to modern times. And it’s too confining. What I love about fashion is its accessibility and its democracy. Everyone wears it, and everyone relates to it.

It's this particular conversation on film that serves as a perfect ending to the exhibition.  Would they have been friends or foes is the ultimate question.  Prada has the last word and says perhaps they would have been friends but then asserts that she can never agree with Schiaparelli's stance on designers being artists.  "Who cares about the title?" and with they drink to one another's talent, achievement, personal battles and design affinity and sensibility.  

Miuccia Prada: I was taught, and I agree, that your collaboration with Dalí and other artists of your time, it was the only real relevant experiment that really was meaningful. It was not a joke, it was a serious moment when serious minds were collaborating.

Elsa Schiaparelli: If I don't say so myself, it was revolutionary. You should try, Miuccia.

Miuccia Prada: Today everything is so contrived and anything you do is under observation. So in a way, there is not even the same freedom to work with artists because immediately you think about what the comments will be. "Ah, yes, art and fashion…" So I avoid that subject completely.

Elsa Schiaparelli: For me, if I hadn't been a designer, I would liked to have been a sculptor. Coco even said of me that I was that designer who wanted to be an artist.

Miuccia Prada: Fashion is art, fashion is not art. But at the end, who cares? All of a sudden, we are put together in such an important exhibition, and so I am obliged to confront with you and I'm really starting… really enjoying it.

Elsa Schiaparelli: Well, I am enjoying it, too. I wonder… If we lived together at the same time, would we be friends or foes?

Miuccia Prada: I think friends.

Elsa Schiaparelli: So, maybe now we can agree that designers are artists.

Miuccia Prada: No, never! Schiap, never! I think that you have to do your job, and who cares about the title.

Elsa Schiaparelli: Salute.

IMG_0114Elsa Schiaparelli/Salvador Dalí “Tear” Dress, 1938 Ivory synthetic and silk printed with trompe l’oeil tears

The exhibition's rich imagery of Schiaparelli's archive pieces as well as specially created images by David Sims and Toby MacFarland (styled by Katie Grand) of Prada's contribution are all collated into the accompanying book that is definitely worth buying.  All the quotes that I have used are also inserted in through smaller pages that are dotted throughout.  The exhibition may be finishing up but the book definitely serves as a brilliant summary of this entirely possible conversation between two designers.    







Leave a comment
  1. ellie

    2012-08-19 at 3:56 PM

    I really enjoyed this post. It felt a bit like an exhibition tour as much as an exhibition review, which I really appreciated. I think it’s a neat idea for an exhibit, and although there are similar moments in their work I think it’s awesome that they were set in a thoughtful context. It’s sometimes a shame that exhibitions have to end, but fantastic to have visits preserved like this. Thank-you for doing this post!

  2. Liz

    2012-08-19 at 4:11 PM

    such an awesome post!

  3. Tian

    2012-08-19 at 4:22 PM

    Wow, thanks so much for making this post!

  4. Kristen Nicole

    2012-08-19 at 5:11 PM

    Wanted to go see it so badly when I first heard about it, so I’m very happy that you wrote about it. I have seen all the videos online and they are just exceptional. To see how alike these designers are is amazing.
    I actually bought Schaparelli’s autobiography recently and am eager to start reading it. I love the quote about stumbling into fashion (from the video you posted) the most. She is a true inspiration.
    Kris xx

  5. ttea

    2012-08-19 at 6:07 PM

    I really like the video, it was really interesting to see these two very different characters interact. I would have loved to be able to see this exhibit, I only wish I could have been in NY. What I find interesting is that Schiaparelli considers fashion art, while Muccia does not. This seems to be something which many fashion designers dispute. Very interesting post, almost as good as going to see the exhibit in person.

  6. Lorna

    2012-08-19 at 6:42 PM

    what a great read Susie! Love this post! The detail in each and every piece in the exhibition is exceptional. This is what fashion is about for me, a juxtaposition of creative forces. Love!

  7. Serdane

    2012-08-19 at 7:16 PM

    Surely one of the longest post you’ve written ever but all the needed informations are there.

  8. anna

    2012-08-19 at 9:59 PM

    What a wonderful blogpost! I actually saw this book at Daunt Books in London today! Definitely going back to get a hold of a copy. Absolutely wonderful! So lucky you got to go to the exhibition! I’m hoping for an early birthday present – to New York so that I can go see the exhibit! x

  9. Tara

    2012-08-19 at 10:47 PM

    This is such a breathtaking post – I mean it literally. As was said in one of the comments above, this is more than a mere exhibition review; as you read it you feel as though you are being guided through well over half a century of fashion, art and culture.
    It sounds as though it was a fabulous exhibition, Susie, and such a unique one at that – a quality brilliantly conveyed through each and every photo and paragraph.
    Best Wishes,

  10. The Provoker

    2012-08-20 at 12:54 AM

    Susie, I’m so sad I would have to miss this, Prada is definitely one of my favorite houses, it’s actually one of the few “big labels” that I’m still fond of. I still truly believe that Prada’s SS11 ‘minimal baroque’ was one of the best fashion shows that ever existed, Miuccia made us rethink the notion of good taste (not in the same way Meadham & Kirchhoff did) and brought for so many new elements without it being overworked: The oxford creepers, the colored fur stoles for Spring, the sunglasses, the color scheme, the prints, the ‘gaudy’ looks, perfect hair and make up…. and for that I am grateful. You’re so lucky you went to see this, another historic exhibition under your notch. The magic of Prada is so sought after yet so unattainable, I love it!

  11. HarbourMaster

    2012-08-20 at 4:12 AM

    As always, a welcomly insightful summary…now wish I could have seen it more than before haha.

  12. Hannah Hayes (@HeroineChicGirl)

    2012-08-20 at 6:31 AM

    I feel so blessed to have been able to see this exhibition in May and your photos bring back such a wonderful memory. I blogged about it to show people here but I’m so glad you did a post with such DEPTH, because it was almost impossible to catch how detailed the exhibition really is! This is one of my favorite posts you’ve ever done:)

  13. kat

    2012-08-20 at 9:36 AM

    Like many other Schiap scholars I actually felt disapppointed by this exhibition. Miuccia Prada kept on denying she pilfered Schiap’s designs, while the derivation is simply too clear. I guess this event was just about trying to cash in on Prada. It was a clever PR exercise to follow up McQueen’s event. Schiap forgive them because they do not know what thery are doing : )

  14. Stills

    2012-08-20 at 10:26 AM

    Amazing post!

  15. Aela

    2012-08-20 at 11:59 AM

    Can’t really think of anything else to say other than THANK YOU! you’ve made an exhibit out of a post and it was fabulous. Love it.

  16. susie_bubble

    2012-08-20 at 12:16 PM

    Hi Kat, do you have examples or links that critique this exhibition with your viewpoint (these Schiap scholars as it were). It’s a somewhat valid argument but not one that I personally agree with. It struck me that there were more differences than similarities when it came down to the actual physical garments. When the exhibition was announced, it sounded a little like a “forced” pairing to me – if you take twp prolific designer’s body of work, you could probably find physical pairings quite easily. I reckon if they attempted to do the same thing with Yves Saint Laurent (who worked with Schiap) and Schiaparelli, you could possibly find similar parities. Some of the ones on show at the exhibition weren’t even that similar, especially in the Waist Up/Waist down portion and the Surreal Body portion. It would be great to read these perspectives of the “Schiap scholars” though so if you have any links, I’d love to check it out.
    I don’t really understand your statement “It was a clever PR exercise to follow up McQueen’s event” – the Met has been putting on a major fashion exhibition every year for quite some time now – the Superheroes one, the one about American fashion, Chanel, Poiret – why wouldn’t they have followed up the McQueen exhibition with errr…. another fashion exhibition? I think it’s just because coverage has amped over the years so perhaps it feels like every exhibition increasingly gets more publicity and more hype in the press.

  17. Cassandra

    2012-08-20 at 12:36 PM

    Beautiful apparels, clothes! I wished I had them all!
    backtofive.blogspot.combacktofive.blogspot.combacktofive’s twitter
    xoxo backtofive

  18. Dessislava

    2012-08-20 at 1:41 PM
  19. Joy D.

    2012-08-20 at 3:47 PM

    The juxtapositions were intense and amazing. I was into the conversations even though they were a little cheesy. The moving images in the glass cases were also amazing. Bravo MET!

  20. Maya

    2012-08-20 at 4:16 PM

    A very thorough post. I visited the exhibition two weeks ago, and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as the McQueen retrospective, I did learn a lot from it.
    I did a post focusing specifically on the Ugly Chic section on my blog, discussing sexuality in fashion and what is beautiful and what is sexy.

  21. JG

    2012-08-20 at 4:24 PM

    Lovely post, thank you; as Ellie said, it’s like a tour of the exhibition. Also, What clothes!

  22. Zamora Shoes

    2012-08-21 at 2:02 AM

    Wonderful clothes. What a great post you have!

  23. Tracy @ day spas on long island

    2012-08-21 at 11:39 AM

    The styles and the apparel designs that have been showcased above are just amazing and pretty well.

  24. Erin

    2012-08-23 at 10:17 AM

    Salute… Lovely. 🙂 Beautiful photos, witty and intriguing conversation. What more can you ask for? ‘Cmon guys, read this!

  25. Lisa

    2012-08-23 at 10:45 AM

    What an awesome post!!!

  26. vintagevessel

    2013-06-27 at 12:22 PM

    I can’t believe I missed this??! Two of my favourite design houses! Looked like a great exhibition x Vintage Vessel x

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