Talking about Italian Fashion
As the exhibition devoted to the two legends at the The Metropolitan Museum on New York closed this weekend, I found myself reflection on just how important these two amazing women have been in shaping the international allure of Italian fashion. The “impossible conversation” between Schiaparelli and Prada, inspired by Miguel Corrubia’s interviews for Vanity Fair in the 1930s and invented in Baz Luhrmann’s simulated video conversation between Shiaparelli and Prada, is what makes so many of our future conversations on fashion possible.
Two Icons. Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.
One was born in Rome in 1890, the other in Milan in 1949. The former fought the rules of the aristocracy to become one of the most influential fashion stylists of the 20th century. The latter transformed the direction of the company owned by her family and became an icon of modern fashion.
One was influenced by Dadaism and the other by surrealism. One created clothing and accessories inspired by Salvador Dali while the other never truly saw fashion and art as the same discipline, so instead she supports artists in their one field. One changed women’s lives with the revolutionary zipper and the other basically invented vintage style.
Conversations on Future Fashion
Elsa Schiapprelli is the Italian contender who challenged, but was sometimes eclipsed by, Coco Chanel’s fashion fame. Miuccia Prada is the undisputed icon of the understated luxury that ruled the 1990s. These two Italian women are so different and yet are linked by their roles as protagonists in the fashion world.
While Miuccia Prada continues to take fashion in new and exciting directions, what might be unexpected is the role Elsa Schiaparelli continues to play in the fashion world. Just this year the makeup company Nars launched a lipstick in the shocking-pink tone made famous by Schiaparelli while at the same time it was announced that the Schiaparelli brand would be relaunched by Diego Della Valle. It’s great proof that the impossible conversation between two legends will continue on well after the end of the Met’s exhibit.