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Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Although separated by time, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli—both Italian, both feminists—share striking affinities in terms of their design strategies and fashion manifestoes. Presented as an intimate "conversation," Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations aims to tease out formal and conceptual similarities between the two designers. Striking photographs and ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Metropolitan Museum of Art (first published May 29th 2012)
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Apr 23, 2012 Phyllis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fashion, favorites
Gorgeously designed catalog from the recently concluded exhibition of the same name that I am still kicking myself in the pants for missing. The parallels between the work of these two legendary designers is amazing. I was already a huge fan of Schiaparelli, but the quotes from Prada helped me understand her designs better, and now I want to revisit the great big huge Prada retrospective coffee table book.

Minor nitpick: why do people always insist Schiaparelli was ugly? There's multiple photos
Helen Waters
Oct 27, 2015 Helen Waters rated it really liked it
What an inventive way of highlighting philosophical similarities in two designers that don't normally leap to mind together ... at least, to a civilian's way of thinking. The photographs are superb as well.
Feb 07, 2017 T rated it really liked it
Wonderful dialogues, inspiring stories.
Apr 16, 2013 Susannah rated it really liked it
This book does not so much compare Schiaparelli and Prada, as it explores the underlying philosophies behind their respective design aesthetics, and expose their similarities. While Prada is very well known and well-regarded, Schiaparelli, a contemporary of Chanel, has been almost completely overlooked in her influence on fashion in favour of the later. It is great to see her design getting some respect at long last.
Mar 10, 2013 Kristenyque rated it really liked it
Visually stunning- this book lead me to think about the "structure" and social confines fashion can place on women. The gowns and women's suits are very beautiful, I was struck though at how confining some of them looked and how detailed they were, it made the women's beauty more of a statement rather than their lives. (They gowns were wearing them rather than them wearing the gowns!)
Oct 23, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing
I was very fortunate to have been able to see Impossible Conversations when the exhibit was running. In fact I went three times!! It was incredible to see how similar some of their ideas of what fashion should be and yet how dissimilar they were at the same time. This catalogue is the perfect companion for this brilliant and creative exhibit.
Jul 24, 2012 Alida rated it really liked it
In this conversation, Prada comes out as the lesser designer. Comparing her to Schiaparelli was obviously a compliment, however, that's not how it came across. Schiaparelli is definitely the superior designer and Prada comes off as derivative. The photos are excellent.
Jun 23, 2013 Joanna rated it really liked it
While some of the comparisons were a stretch, an interesting look at the design history of both women. Wish the photographs of the Prada pieces were as beautiful as the ones from the book on the McQueen exhibit they did the following year.
Dec 25, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing
Fascinating! A great companion to the exhibit, which I initially found a bit contrived...this book made sense of the comparison of the two designers. Great pictures and over-all thought-provoking look at two great designers.
Aug 10, 2015 Morgan rated it liked it
Shelves: fashion-style
A unique juxtaposition of two designers, each from different times and forms yet with crossing themes. Beautiful design to this book. A fine companion to the MET exhibition by the same name - I personally feel the book had more value than the exhibit, but that's just me.
Nov 16, 2012 Erica rated it liked it
Interesting, informative, and encouraging. I liked thumbing through the beautiful photos to get ideas, and hear about how the designers were inspired.
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