I don’t believe Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be the blockbuster hit the Alexander McQueen show was, but that is not to say it shouldn’t be seen and enjoyed. The show opens with a film of Elsa Schiaparelli (played by Judy Davis) and Miuccia Prada (playing herself) talking to each other from the ends of a large, elegant dinner table. Much of Schiaparelli’s dialogue comes from her autobiography, Shocking Life. Their conversation continues in other rooms of the exhibition, ranging over several topics including the nature of art, politics, their divergent takes on the foci of fashion: above or below the waist. The films were directed by Baz Luhrmann who shot the women separately at different times.
My favorite part of the exhibition: the clothes. The clothes, the shoes, the hats. These clothes are beautiful and, unlike much of what we saw in the McQueen show, wearable. Although these two innovative designers were clearly working in different eras, I had fun being fooled from time to time about whose design was whose.