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Madge in New York – Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Madge and her husband, Mr. Madge, spent a delightful weekend in New York City.   Mr. was not arriving until the late the first evening. So upon arrival, Madge rushed to her favorite midtown hotel, unpacked, donned her favorite vintage brooch, and was off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the new exhibit: Schiaparelli & Prada:  Impossible Conversations.

 

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

This exhibition is a juxtaposition between the legendary designs of Elsa Schiaparelli with that of current fashion icon Miuccia Prada.  The show is FAB and Madge took a few snaps before security sternly wagged their finger.

Prada is world famous to all of you fashionistas out there, but you may not be familiar with Elsa Schiaparelli, one of the most important designers of the 1930s.   In fact among hat aficionados she arguably designed the most famous topper ever, the Shoe Hat, a 1937 collaboration with Salvador Dali.

 

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Don’t you just love Schaparelli gazing a the mannequin, both wearing the famous shoe hat.

 

The first section of the show, “Waist Up/Waist Down” compares how the women designed their clothes for their client’s different needs. Schiaparelli was known for her decorative jackets which were très chic to her Café Society” clients of the 20s & 30s who spent most of their time seated at restaurants, the theater or nightclubs.  Also, since newspaper gossip columnists were the TMZ of their day, it was important for society women to photograph well and Schiaparelli knew just what it took to stand out in a crowded nightclub.   The photo below left, shows a Schiaparelli jacket and Prada skirt.

 

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Here’s another one showing the difference in design emphasis between the two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the exhibit would not be complete without Schiaparelli’s hats, which were juxtaposed with Prada’s shoes to amazing effect.    Here’s a quick snap before Madge was scolded again for taking photos.

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

 

The most breathtaking a part of the show was the grand finale “Surreal Body” which showed Schiaparelli’s most famous surrealist creations with Salvador Dalí such as the famous Lobster, Skeleton and Tear dresses and compared them with Prada’s design adventures.

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

 

Of course Madge had to pick up a few mementos from the exhibit gift shop.

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Prada Miniature Shoe. Isn’t it adorable?
Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
Glamorous Schiap Cape

 

 

And, on her way out, Madge took quick peek at the Met’s jewelry collection before heading off to a show and a rendezvous with Mr. M.

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations Diadem necklace
Parure: Diadem, necklace, belt, ornament & pair of bracelets. Gold & amethysts French circa 1830. Just my size!

 

This is a must see show for anyone interested in fashion.  It is a rare treat indeed to see the designs of Elsa Schiaparelli.

Madge in New York - Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

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3 Comments

  1. Delightful blog piece. Fascinating comparison/contrast of these two fashion icons. Especially appreciate the covert photos. Well done!

  2. Such a glamorous Madgeventure! Thanks for sharing it with us, especially the illegal photographs.

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