|Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada|
The Met is getting ready to unveil its new showcase. A collaborated exhibition of two of the fashion world's most innovative women and most daring designers is scheduled to open this fall. The Met's Spring 2012 Costume Institute has staged an imaginary conversation between these two iconic women, born over six decades apart. The exhibit promises to pay homage to their vision, their creativity, their tenacity as artists, and their ferocity as two of the fashion world's most powerful women.
One has to sense the trend of history and precede it.
When I design, my personal interests are my primary focus, my personal interests in life, in society, in culture. But I’m always conscious of the cycle of fashion... For me, it’s important to anticipate where fashion is heading.
Italian designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada are to be featured on the same bill via the newest installation of the Met's Fashion Institute. This exhibit will present itself as an imaginary conversation between these two female fashion titans. The Met exhibit will explore the inner feelings of these women through their creations, through their own words, and through their lives. According to curator, Andrew Bolton, both women used fashion to provoke . . . "to challenge normative values.”
|A glimpse of the upcoming exhibit|
Judith Thurman of the New Yorker describes the exhibit's tone as "invincible female self-possession." Both of these women, though they lived in vastly different eras, became pillars for the power of women. Neither woman bowed down to the status-quo, rebelling their entire lives against societal norms, breaking rules, and inspiring awe from those close enough and and lucky enough to get a real glance at their tenacity, and smart enough to understand comprehend their vision.
|Left: Schiaparelli cape/Right: Prada coat|
The pieces will be organized around seven themes, each housed in a separate gallery: Waist Up/Waist Down, Ugly Chic, Hard Chic, Naif Chic, The Classical Body, The Exotic Body, and The Surreal Body. Each theme juxtaposes one designer alongside the other as a way of resonating vibes between two vastly different eras.
From the Met website:
"Waist Up/Waist Down" will look at Schiaparelli's use of decorative detailing as a response to restaurant dressing in the heyday of 1930s café society, while showing Prada's below-the-waist focus as a symbolic expression of modernity and femininity.
"Neck Up/Knees Down" will showcase Schiaparelli's hats and Prada's footwear.
"Ugly Chic" will reveal how both women subvert ideals of beauty and glamour by playing with good and bad taste through color, prints, and textiles.
"Hard Chic" will explore the influence of uniforms and menswear to promote a minimal aesthetic that is intended to both deny and enhance femininity.
"Naïf Chic" will focus on Schiaparelli and Prada's adoption of a girlish sensibility to subvert expectations of age-appropriate dressing.
"The Classical Body," which also incorporates "The Pagan Body," explores the designers' engagement with antiquity through the gaze of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
"The Exotic Body" will explore the influence of Eastern cultures through fabrics such as lamé, and silhouettes such as saris and sarongs.
"The Surreal Body" in the final gallery will illustrate how both women affect contemporary images of the female body through Surrealistic practices such as displacement, playing with scale, and blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion as well as the natural and the artificial.
|Curator Andrew Bolton with Vogue Editor Anna Wintour at the opening exhibit of Schiaparelli/Prada|