There is no denying I love a good Prada moment. Whether worn by men, women and children or on mannequins behind glass partitions – a la Impossible Conversations – the genius of Miuccia Prada in the world of ready-to-wear is irrefutable. Through her quirky designs, Ms.Prada has forever changed the industry and has carved out a place for herself in fashion history – having impacted, as a female, how women today dress comparable in magnitude only to Coco Chanel.
Ms.Prada’s presence in fashion each season spans further than the Prada runway in Milan and Miu Miu in Paris. Her designs, past and present, dictate movements in fashion that have greater longevity than, say, “Red is the color for spring”. Her ability to withstand seasonal trends while spotting what the fashion world will be yearning for in a year or two and giving it to them in the present is the trait of a true fashion genius. Just you watch, in a few seasons everyone will be doing fur for spring and silver leather socks with split-toe boots. Regardless of whether designers have caught on to Ms.Prada’s ways, plenty fashion houses looked to past Prada collections for inspiration this season. For Spring/Summer 2013 we saw references through cut, fabric, color and pattern to Prada shows dating back six years. Take a look at a few of my favorites below…
Following the MET Gala last week there were a few other small events I attended in celebration of Impossible Conversations. The first was a very intimate evening at the Tisch residence with Ms.Prada – hence the picture above. I was floored/honored after asking for a photo with the notoriously camera shy designer that she agreed without hesitation (I suppose the great lengths I went to to obtain the look from FW12 worn that evening turned out to be well worth it). It was surreal to see the designer in a relaxed environment with such few people.
The following morning I attended the curator-lead walkthrough of the exhibition for the Friends of The Costume Institute. Like the occasional spaz that I am – or possibly I was still on a mental cloud from the prior evening – I showed up without a memory card in my camera. Thus, I have no photos to attest to what a wonderful morning it was, but I do have a few special anecdotes. Andrew and Harold (Head Curator and Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute) spoke about the process of designing the exhibition from when it was a mere idea to when Miuccia herself walked through for the first time.
The exhibit opens with the Impossible Conversations short film by Baz Lurhmann. In it, actress Judy Davis portrays Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia plays herself. All of Miuccia’s dialogue was written using her own words from countless conversations with Andrew to which he compiled into a script. The filming was done by Mr.Lurhmann at The Carlyle hotel on two separate occasions. For the first, he was there in person to read Sciaparelli’s lines across the table from Miuccia, but for the second he was in Australia filming Gatsby and thus was virtually there by way of Skype.
After the film comes the clothes. In the gallery Waist Up/Waist Down – Head Up/Knee down, they highlight Prada’s amazing skirts and shoes while juxtaposing them against Schiaparelli’s beautiful jackets and famous hats. Harold told a great story about how Ms.Prada requested that a pair of shoes be changed because without the contrast of the blouse she originally put with the look it appears too lady like and thus not Prada.
Later, they pay homage to Miuccia’s ealr years designing women’s wear. Andrew mentioned it was a dark period for Ms.Prada both literally and figuratively, she used minimalism to hide behind; the basic, black Prada dresses of the early 90s were certainly worlds apart from this fall’s colorful, patterned-filled collection.
While Miuccia denies looking to Schiaparelli’s work for inspiration there are undeniable similarities between the two thanks to the great Yves Saint Laurent; he used Schiaparelli as a muse and Ms.Prada looks to Yves’ work season after season. Andrew and Harold discussed how both women’s work are a bit oxymoronic. Schiaparelli was constantly praised for her craftsmanship while most of her techniques are those of someone who is not really interested in technique. Similarly, Prada is a woman who is fixated on the idea of ‘Ugly Chic’ and sees a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress as a cliché.
The final gallery in the exhibition showcases looks from some of Schiaparelli’s and Prada’s most career-defining collections. The pieces on display serve as the perfect final impression of the exhibit celebrating two of fashion’s most prized female designers.
Despite my plan to focus my MET post around where the party really happens – which, oddly enough, is typically in the bathroom – the museum finally caught on and placed guards in both restrooms this year. It was a relief to not have to walk through plumes of smoke and navigate around the likes of Ricardo Tisci and Giambattista Valli in the ladies room, but nevertheless not as entertaining. Regardless, the party still lived up to its reputation as Party of the Year. Impossible Conversations is a complete departure from the dramatic aesthetic of last year’s Savage Beauty exhibit. It always excites me to learn more about somewhat mysterious designers, like Schiaparelli, especially when using such a celebrated female, such as Miuccia Prada, as a basis for comparison. The exhibition is geared towards those who love and appreciate both current fashion and its history. More to come on specifics of the exhibit but for now check out some highlights from Monday evening below…
Get ready for a whole lot of Prada! I feel like I can’t escape talk of the Italian fashion house in anticipation of Ms.Prada’s soon-to-open exhibition at the MET’s Costume Institute. But not to forget people, Miuccia is only half of the equation, Elsa Schiaparelli’s work will also be on view in the exhibit which opens May 10th and runs through August 19th (all assuming no one ‘pulls a McQueen’ and requires an extension to keep up with the enormous demand). Nonetheless, in honor of tomorrow night’s fête, or as some know it, The Party of the Year, Prada enlisted American Vogue’s Creative director Grace Coddington to curate the FW12 looks on display in all of their New York boutiques. Special fall samples were brought in specifically for display and each store even received an early delivery of a limited amount of Pre-Fall pieces. In addition, I was told Grace brought the styrofoam head pieces on the mannequins (pictured below) with her from Vogue. The orange one bares a slight resemblance to Grace, no??
Below is footage of Florence and the Machine’s, or as my mom says: Frances and the Mechanic’s, performance at the MET Gala. She only did three songs but Dog Days Are Over was by far the best. The start of the film is a bit shaky (she was running around everywhere!) but hopefully you can get a good glimpse of Florence Welch’s amazing McQueen caftan and her equally incredible voice.
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Daphne Guinness, Designers, MET Gala, Vogue
I’m sorry to have been so MIA lately, but I’m back! For those of you who haven’t yet seen Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the MET, here is a video of the exhibit taken the night of the Gala. You will notice some of the pieces Andrew Bolton, Curator at The Costume Institute, highlighted in my interview with him; such as McQueen’s famous bumster trouser, Daphne Guinness’ donated pieces that belonged to Isabella Blow, and Shalom Harlow’s finale dress from McQueen’s No.13 show. I tried to get good footage that night but it is hard to tell Yoko Ono or Valentino to move out of the frame! Hope you can get a sense of how amazing the exhibition is. I still highly recommend you see it in person if you are in New York between now and August 7th. Enjoy!
So sorry for the delay with my MET coverage!! Here are some pics -and by some, I mean a bunch- from the night. I am still editing the footage but will have the exhibit to you this week. Has anyone gone yet?? If not, it’s a must for anyone in NYC!
With my sister, friend and jewelry designer Eddie Borgo, and his date for the night, model Arizona Muse
Ok, so aside from the amazingness that was the entire McQueen exhibit/MET Gala, I must say that the highlight of the evening came at the end. Riccardo Tisci is one of my top three favorite living designers and I have never before had the pleasure of meeting him. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of asking for a picture as we were exiting the MET. I had to squeeze onto my purse to prevent my hands from shaking… But it was well worth it. I don’t look too happy, do I??
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Designers, Interviews, MET Gala, Photography
Before I post footage of the actual Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition taken at Monday’s MET Gala, I thought I’d finish sharing my interview with Andrew Bolton. The videos below take you through the final two themes of the exhibit. The first, entitled Romantic Naturalism, showcases McQueen’s love for nature and the countless ways he drew inspiration from animals, such as birds, and raw materials, such as flowers. The featured collection in this theme was appropriately McQueen’s final show before his passing. He was a firm believer in the life cycle and his spring/summer 2010 collection, called Plato’s Atlantis, was inspired by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and was a glimpse into McQueen’s view on evolution. The show began with amazing, one of a kind animal prints, representing how man began on land, and the final look, known as his jellyfish ensemble, was McQueen’s way of saying that one day we will all end up under the sea.
The final theme in the book is called The Cabinet of Curiosities which pays homage to all of the incredible collaborations McQueen had throughout his career. There are some amazing things by milliner Philip Treacy and a spiral corset by Shaun Leane that is one of my favorite pieces in the exhibit. This section also showcases the famous wooden legs McQueen made for Paralympic Aimee Mullins. The final featured collection is McQueen’s spring 1999 show called Number 13, where for the finale, model Shalom Harlow was on a turn table getting sprayed by lime green and black paint. One of the most legendary McQueen Finales there is. This concludes my interview with Andrew, a big thanks to him again for giving such a great preview to the most beautiful Costume Institute exhibit to date!
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Designers, Interviews, MET Gala, Photography
The next two themes of the Alexander McQueen:Savage Beauty exhibition are called Romantic Exoticism and Romantic Primitivism. The former is an ode to McQueen’s Chinese cut and construction. It houses the heaviest look in the exhibition, his oyster shell dress, and also includes pieces from one of my favorite shows, his spring/summer 2005 collection entitled It’s Only a Game, where he simulated a game of chess with his 36 models. The featured collection of the Romantic Exoticism section is his spring/summer 2001 show dubbed VOSS.
The fifth theme of the exhibit is called Romantic Primitivism and explores McQueen’s love of Africa and nature. Although his clothes were works of art, his pieces were often handmade and comprised of natural materials. The featured collection in this portion of the exhibit is his spring/summer 2003 show entitled Irere, otherwise known has his Pirate Collection. In Irere he drew inspiration from a shipwreck and the various creatures one would associate with the sea. Enjoy!…
In honor of my countdown to the 2011 MET Gala, which is a week from tomorrow, below is the final installment of Lady Gaga’s performance from last year’s party. My mom and I have already started making predictions for who we think Ms. Wintour has deemed worthy enough to serve as entertainment this year; I say Florence + The Machine while my mom is thinking Katy Perry… Who do you think?? We shall find out next Monday!