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Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations
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Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  8 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 Conversationsaims to tease out formal and conceptual similarities between the two designers. Striking photographs and ins ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Metropolitan Museum of Art (first published May 29th 2012)
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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
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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