“Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” opens at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute on May 10 which explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two Italian designers from different eras. Videos of simulated conversations between the two are directed by Baz Luhrman - the concept inspired by Miguel Covarrubias's "Impossible Interviews" for Vanity Fair in the 1930s. The talks correspond to sections of the exhibition including "Waist Up/Waist Down," "Ugly Chic," "Hard Chic," "Naïf Chic," "The Classical Body," "The Exotic Body," and "The Surreal Body” while highlighting the topics the two agree on and disagree on. “I try to make the men more human and the women more powerful,” Prada tells Schiaparelli. “Men respect a strong woman,” Schiaparelli responds. The eight short films in the exhibition reveal conversations taken from Schiaparelli’s 1954 autobiography Shocking Life and from Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton’s interviews with Prada.
The Met's Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” is on view from May 10–August 19, 2012