Schiaparelli & Prada

Impossible Conversations

Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda; With an introduction by Judith Thurman

View Inside Price: $25.00

June 5, 2012
324 pages, 7 3/4 x 10 5/8
124 color + 82 duotone illus.
ISBN: 9780300179552

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press

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 insightful texts illustrate the parallels between the two, including their preferences for interesting textiles and prints, eccentric color palettes, and a bold and playful approach to styling and accessories.

Schiaparelli, in the 1920s through 50s, and Prada, from the late 1980s to today, exploited the narrative possibilities of prints, sought out unconventional textiles, played with ideas of good and bad taste, and manipulated scale for surrealistic outcomes. Contemporary art plays a major role in the work of these inventive women—Schiaparelli in her famous collaborations with Dali and Cocteau, and Prada via her Fondazione Prada. Blending the historic with the contemporary, the catalogue brings the masterworks of both designers together into a grand conversation between the most important women fashion designers to ever emerge from Italy.

Harold Koda is curator in charge at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Andrew Bolton is curator at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art(05/10/12-08/19/12)

“A gorgeous companion volume.”—Sadie Stein, Paris Review

“The catalogue pages offer an insightful look at the exhibition”—Artinfo

“[A] handsome catalog”—The New York Times

“The must-have book of the season!”—Flare Magazine

“A masterpiece of an exhibition catalogue.”—Mediabistro

“The reader will be bowled over.”—The Los Angeles Times

"A stimulating read."—Birmingham Post

“The catalogue is just as brilliantly conceived as the show and visitors who do purchase a copy will be well-rewarded when they consider these women’s words without being elbowed by fellow museum-goers.”—Studio International

'Perusing the book, which is intended as much as an objet d'art…provides an exhilarating visual experience.'—Sanda Miller
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