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Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

About the Exhibition

About the Exhibition

Waist Up/Waist Down

Gallery View

"Waist Up/Waist Down" looks at Schiaparelli's use of decorative detailing as a response to restaurant dressing in the heyday of 1930s café society, while showing Prada's below-the-waist focus as a symbolic expression of modernity and femininity. An accessories subsection of this gallery called "Neck Up/Knees Down" showcases Schiaparelli's hats and Prada's footwear.


Ugly Chic

Gallery View

"Ugly Chic" reveals how both women subvert ideals of beauty and glamour by playing with good and bad taste through color, prints, and textiles.


Hard Chic

Gallery View

"Hard Chic" explores the influence of uniforms and menswear to promote a minimal aesthetic that is intended to both deny and enhance femininity.


Naïf Chic

Gallery View

"Naïf Chic" focuses on Schiaparelli and Prada's adoption of a girlish sensibility to subvert expectations of age-appropriate dressing.


The Classical Body

Gallery View

"The Classical Body," which also incorporates "The Pagan Body," explores the designers' engagement with antiquity through the gaze of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


The Exotic Body

Gallery View

"The Exotic Body" explores the influence of Eastern cultures through fabrics such as lamé, and silhouettes such as saris and sarongs.


The Surreal Body

Gallery View

"The Surreal Body," in the final gallery, illustrates how both women affect contemporary images of the female body through Surrealistic practices such as displacement, playing with scale, and blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion as well as the natural and the artificial.

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