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Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations

Item# 80-015982 

Price: $50.00 $5.00
Member Price: $45.00 $4.50


  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 324
  • Illustrations: 206 (124 in full color and 82 duotones)
  • Binding: Clothbound
  • Dimensions: 7 3/4'' x 10 5/8''
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors:
  • Award: Named to the AIGAs list of the 50 best books of 2012 and awarded a bronze Independent Publisher Book Award in the Popular Culture/Leisure category
  • ISBN: 9780300179552



By Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda
Introduction by Judith Thurman
New photography by Toby McFarlan Pond and David Sims

Although separated by time, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelliboth Italian, both feministsshare 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. The book itself is an objet d'art, a "book within a book" that reflects the conceptual and inventive nature of their creations. 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 womenSchiaparelli 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times

"Perusing the book, which is intended as much as an objet dart provides an exhilarating visual experience."
Apollo Magazine

"priceless as a keepsake focusing on two of the most iconic fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries The device used in the book to invoke this "conversation" between the two designers is wonderfully inventive and will no doubt be used again in future works."
The New York Journal of Books

"The reader will be bowled over by the lush images of Schiaparelli's 1930s goddess gowns, suit jackets with linebacker shoulders (later adopted by Hollywood costume designer Adrian), lamb chop- and shoe- shaped hats, as well as Prada's chiffon dresses emblazoned with illustrations of whimsical fairies and school-girl skirts in lip prints or bearing nostalgic "tourist" designs of Rome and Venice."
Los Angeles Times

My invitation to the Mets Costume Institute Ball seems to have been mysteriously lost in the mail, but reading through the gorgeous companion volume to the Schiaparelli and Prada exhibition is (Im sure) every bit as interesting, and nearly as glamorous.
Sadie Stein, Paris Review

"We're calling this the must-have book of the season!"

"masterpiece of an exhibition catalogue"

fascinating read
Birmingham Post

beautifully produced book that accompanies the exhibition. Curators Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda have paired with New Yorker writer Judith Thurman to provide some incredibly well- honed thinking on the two designers, explaining the process for the show; the structural construct behind it; and providing new analysis of the two vastly different and yet remarkably similar designers.
Fashion Historia

begs to be read
Printers Row

Happily 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 womens words without being elbowed by fellow museum- goers.
Studio International

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