More details have emerged about the Met’s next Costume Institute exhibit “Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion.” According to WWD, the exhibit will be presented as an “anachronistic conversation” between Prada and Schiaparelli, which is a concept that was inspired by the “Impossible Interviews” in Vanity Fair from the 1930s.
So why Schiaparelli? The Costume Institute received some Schiaparelli pieces after it acquired the Brooklyn Museum’s extensive Costume Collection in 2009, so that was the starting point. From then, it seemed to organizers that Miuccia would be a logical counterpoint–both strong women designers, both Italian, both with unique points of view, both with art world connections.
Fashion geeks and history buffs will be delighted to find 80 pieces on display–Schiaparelli’s are from the late Twenties through the early Fifties, and Prada from the late Eighties to the present (will that famous nylon backpack get some spotlight?). As for the conversation part, Harold Koda, the curator of the Costume Institute, told WWD, “We thought, ‘If we can play with that idea of what Schiap would say, with her real words, and what Miuccia would say, in her real words, on a variety of issues, we could end up with something that was a mind-teaser for the audience, and would allow people to see Schiap with increased relevance and Miuccia with a different kind of understanding than they perhaps alredy have.” Expect some cool multi-media to help solidify the message. Baz Luhrmann has been hired as the creative consultant for both the exhibit and the benefit, and Carey Mulligan, Miuccia Prada and Anna Wintour will serve as co-chairs for the Met Ball.
The exhibit will run from May 10 through August 19, 2012. We can’t wait to see what kind of vintage Prada and Schiaparelli Met Ball guests will dig up for this one.