Show time for Prada

Show time for Prada

Following last year’s sensational Alexander McQueen retrospective, the subjects of this spring’s Costume Institute exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are Miuccia Prada and 1930s fashion legend Elsa Schiaparelli, whose subversive designs influenced her fellow Italian’s unconventional aesthetic. Miuccia is chairman, designer and creative force behind the Prada Group, and where she treads, fashion tends to follow. The company’s landmark flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo have integrated high style and architecture, and travels in India and Peru have inspired Miuccia’s trademark craftsmanship and use of sumptuous fabrics, an alternative colour palette and folk touches. With Patrizio Bertelli, her husband, she has created a major collection of contemporary art (which can be viewed at the Prada Foundations in Milan and Venice), and in turn her designs have been influenced by artists – Salvador Dali’s surrealist sofa, for example, inspired her famous lip print. The Met show features several iconic fashion pieces, from a 1938 Schiaparelli ‘tear’ dress to a 1990s Prada black nylon outfit, and a documentary by the exhibition’s creative consultant, film director Baz Luhrmann, will be screened, featuring simulated conversations between the two fashion designers on topics such as art, politics and beauty.

‘Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: Impossible Conversations’, 10 May-19 August, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York (00 1 212 535 7710;

By Melanie Abrams

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