bal harbour blog

Fashion's (Other) Night Out

Culture Watch
Elsa Schiaparelli (left) and Miuccia Prada.

It’s time for the Met’s annual Costume Institute Gala —and of course museum show — one of the highlights of the Spring season. This year’s gala, which takes place tonight, marks the first time the red carpet arrivals are streamed live on the Met’s website. This year’s gala is hosted by Vogue's William Norwich and Elettra Wiedemann, the broadcast will include interviews with the gala co-chairs, including Carey Mulligan, Miuccia Prada, and Anna Wintour.

The exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two Italian designers from different eras. Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias's "Impossible Interviews" for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, the exhibition features orchestrated conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work. Iconic ensembles will be presented with videos of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.

The exhibition will showcase approximately 90 designs and 30 accessories by Schiaparelli from the late 1920s to the early 1950s and by Prada from the late 1980s to the present. Drawn from The Costume Institute's collection and the Prada Archive, as well as other institutions and private collections, signature objects by both designers will be arranged in seven themed galleries.

"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. An accessories subsection of this gallery called "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, scale, and blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion as well as the natural and the artificial.

you may also like
Culture Watch

Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream pops up in Miami Beach.
Culture Watch

Follow That Feed

Four fashionably delicious feeds to follow on Instagram.
Culture Watch

Page Turner

Start a conversation with these new coffee table books.
Culture Watch

The Year of Intentional Thinking

A Guide to Transcendental Meditation with Norman Rosenthal.
back to top