Eavesdropping on Schiaparelli, Prada, and Iris

Don’t despair if you haven’t gotten to the Met’s Costume Institute show Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible ConversationsThe Met’s put up a spectacular web site that lets you in behind the scenes, around the dining table, and inside the head of everyone’s favorite fashion icon, Iris Apfel.

If you get to the gallery this week before the show ends, expect large crowds (“normal” large, not like McQueen). Hopefully you’ll get close enough to the clothes to check out Schiaparelli’s innovative tree-bark rayon. If you can’t get there, preview the exhibition set-up on line, and go take the curator’s walk through (the second video from the top).

You can look through some of the images that the Met is sharing on line, but they don’t feature some of the in-person eye-poppers – the blue-squiggled Schiaparelli bridal veil on loan from Philadelphia, a color photo of Schiaparelli’s gold sari dress and veil (although the Horst photo is great), or Prada’s stuff with monkey and banana prints. [Prada quote: “I never thought people would want to wear clothes with monkeys and bananas on them.”]

One of the biggest complaints visitors have about the show is that it’s so hard to see and hear the “conversation” videos between Prada and Schiaparelli (played by Judy Davis, and, yes, someone did ask me “who played Prada?”).  Not  a problem, because all eight conversation videos are posted online (scroll to the bottom of the page).

If you have an extra hour in front of the computer, here’s the added bonus: the video of Iris Apfel discussing good and bad taste in contemporary fashion at the Met last June.  Who doesn’t want Iris’s amazing perspective on style?

If you don’t have the time, just check out The Rules by Elsa Schiaparelli, courtesy of Philadelphia’s 2005 exhibition site. Agree? Disagree? Well, maybe you’ll concur with Prada’s side of the conversation.

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