It is well known that the avant-garde work of Elsa Schiaparelli continues to inspire modern designers and Houses in ways we find exceptionally attractive.Now is the turn for renowned shoe maker Charlotte Olympia to create the ”Luna” heel,featuring a face with tears on the moonlight.If that’s not a must-have,i don’t know what is!
The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Spring 2012
Costume Institute exhibition,
‘Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations’
(The works on view are arranged into seven themes: “Waist Up/Waist Down,” “Ugly Chic,” “Hard Chic,” “Naïf Chic,” “The Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and “The Surreal Body.“)
May 10–August 19, 2012
“Women dress alike all over the world;
they dress to annoy other women”
A new intriguing exhibition takes place in the Metropolitan Museum Of Art,aptly named ”Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”As the press release states:”The Met’s Spring 2012 Costume Institute 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 are 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.
Since the majority of blogs seem to focus on the MET Gala aka the Opening night and the (really fantabulous outfits of the guests),one thing was left aside.Everyone is familiar with Miuccia Prada’s style influence, aesthetics,products,multimillion fashion empire.But who really was Elsa Schiaparelli?
Elsa Schiaparelli was being considered Chanel’s major rival in shaping fashion especially between the two World Wars.Madame Schiaparelli had an eye for the avant garde in arts and many of her designs were directly influenced by Alberto Giacometti and even Salvador Dali. Schiaparelli also had a good relationship with other artists including Leonor Fini,Jean Cocteau, and other contemporary artists,in many fields.Chanel,with her usual cynicism,referred to her as ‘that Italian artist who makes clothes’. Famous actress Mae West supported her by wearing her design her inability to abandon the boheme attitude towards life made her unable to follow radical developments in women’s’ fashion after the Second World War.
Her first mentor and influence was Paul Poiret and the surrealists,she even started to design surrealist trompe i’oeil outfits,a radical move at her time.She was the first to use brightly colored zippers, appearing first on her sportswear in 1930 and again five years later on her evening dresses.Her innovations were many.She was the first to use brightly colored zippers, but she was also the first to have them dyed to match the material used in her garments.In Parisian fashion, she invented culottes, introduced Arab breeches, embroidered shirts, wrapped turbans, pompom-rimmed hats, barbaric belts, the “wedge,” a soled shoe that would trend through the 20th century and into the next, and mix-and-match sportswear, the concept of which would not be fully recognized for another forty to fifty years.She first experimented in fashion design, with acrylic, cellophane, a rayon jersey called “Jersela” and a rayon with metal threads called “Fildifer” – the very first time synthetic materials were used in couture,along with Chanel’ s jersey outfits around the same same time.
But what can be considered her main innovation in fashion industry in her concept of the fashion runway as we know it today. She combined hers with music,artistic performances and visualized it as a whole,n idea that modern that was to take years to be a fashion runway mainstream approach. Even the choice of elongated,slim silhouettes as her models long before ‘heroine chic’ is underrated till today.
Narrated by Andrew Bolton, Curator, The Costume Institute