New York museum to honour Italian fashion legends

MILAN - The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will hold a retrospective honouring Italian fashion legends Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada this spring, organisers said on Friday at Milan Fashion Week.


Prada ensembles at the press conference announcing the 'Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations' exhibition (AFP, Olivier Morin)

The show runs from May 10 until August 19 and will include the designers' most iconic models, as well as drawings and accessories made by Schiaparelli from the 1920s to the 1950s and by Prada from the 1980s to the current day.

"A love for art and breaking the rules unite us," Prada told reporters in the fashion hub's Royal Palace. She added however: "These are two such different periods that, honestly, I see more differences than similarities."

The exhibition, entitled "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations", also includes video interview montages of the two women by famous Australian film maker Baz Luhrmann, the director of Moulin Rouge and Romeo+Juliet.

The Metropolitan hosted an Alexander McQueen retrospective last year.

Both Schiaparelli and Prada are known for their provocative tastes and for their mix of good and bad taste, as well as their proximity to artistic movements: surrealism for Schiaparelli and contemporary art for Prada.

Born in Rome in 1890, Schiaparelli opened a fashion house in the 1920s in Paris, where she died in 1973. She was close to Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali and created iconic surrealist fashion pieces including her famous shoe hat.

Prada joined her family's business -- a luxury leather goods maker in Milan -- in 1978 and turned it into an international fashion empire that sets trends for every season and is now listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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