Saturday, 5 May 2012

Schiaparelli and Prada: 'Impossible Conversations' The Costume Institute Exhibition at the MOMA NYC! Xx

So the Annual Costume Institute Exhibition 
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York 
is to Open on May 10 and it runs until Aug 19

This year it is Schiaparelli and Prada
'Impossible Conversations'
 The show's idea and name was inspired by 
Vanity Fair's 1930s series of unimaginable exchanges 
which was also called 'Impossible Conversations'

Anna Wintour, the Editor in Chief of American Vogue is to 
Host the incredible Gala Benefit that launches the show 
on 7 May at the Met, 
And we cannot wait to see what everyone is wearing.

Anna says in her
 letter from the editor 'Fearless and Peerless' in the May Issue that
the Gala
'has always had the touch of the improbable about it'
and this year she adds will be no different as 
'Impossible Conversations' involves the
'Visions of two extraordinarily creative women ... Elsa and Miuccia' who

'Walk common ground, particularly 
when it comes to challenging notions and assumptions around class, 
sexuality, status, power and beauty'.

Since 2005 Coco Chanel The Costume Institute 
hasn't covered female designers,
when the Fashion World is populated by
majorly talented women:

Sarah Burton Alexander McQueen
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte
Phoebe Philo of Celine
Donna Karan
Stella McCartney
Frida Gianni of Gucci
Diane von Furstenberg

Vivienne Westwood
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen of the Row

Anna Wintour at the Chanel Gala 2005

Scarlett Johansson on the cover of May US Vogue
in a Prada silk plisse dress from the fall 2004 collection 
Van Cleef and Arpels diamond and pearl earrings. 

 Photographed by Mario Testino
Fashion Editor Tonne Goodman
Hair Oribe
Make-Up James Kaliardos for Dolce and Gabbana

In this issue, Camilla Nickerson and David Sims with 
Stella Tennant have worked together on the shoot
'Shock Value' 
Hair by Garren and Make-Up Diane Kendal
Jacket Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Giambattista Valli Haute Couture hydrangea print silk dress
Satin T Shirt Stella McCartney, Pyjama pant Olivier Rousteing 
Oscar de la Renta dress with lace trim and turtleneck cape. 
Nina Ricci net gloves

(images courtesy US Vogue
for promotional purposes only and not meant to infringe copyright)

The shoot pays homage to
Schiaparelli's shocking pink shade that she loved
and introduced to an unsuspecting Paris.
As Yves Saint Laurent, her protege and colleague famously described it
  "the nerve of aggressive, brawling, warrior pink."
and how she
"didn't want to please; she wanted to dominate".
"She slapped Paris. She smacked it. She tortured it. She bewitched it. 
And it fell madly love with her."

Harold Koda is curator in charge of the exhibition, and Andrew Bolton the co-curator.
 The Installation is designed by Nathan Crawley 
and has a series of Baz Luhrmann videos with the impossible conversations. 
Schiaparelli is played by Judy Davis, 
the star of "My Brilliant Career" and "Husbands and Wives"

These are a couple of the exchanges:

Schiap: I enjoy creating for the woman who no matter what her years, 

wears my clothes with the poise of youth"

Prada: I hate the idea that you shouldn't wear something

 just because youre a certain age

Prada: ...I try to make women feel more powerful without losing their femininity....
Schiaparelli: Many men admire strong women, but they do not love them....

Check HERE
to watch one of the Baz Luhrmann Interviews
on the Met website
Prada and Schiap obviously have similarities but Miuccia says:
"These are two such different time periods that, honestly,
 I see more differences than similarities," said Prada. 
"It is their project and their exhibition, so I am very little involved. 
But the differences are also so important. I hope that will come out."

Scarlett Johansson in Prada Photographed by Mario Testino
Fashion Editor Tonne Goodman
Hair Oribe
Make-Up James  Kaliardos for Dolce and Gabbana

and below with Mark Ruffalo
in a tribute to the Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant film Bringing up Baby
in which Katherine wore Schiaparelli.

Nina Ricci pale-pink silk dress Christian Louboutin Heels

Mark in Brooks Brothers, Scarlett in Vionnet

(images courtesy US Vogue
for promotional purposes only and not meant to infringe copyright)
Katherine Hepburn in Bringing up Baby

Schiaparelli also dressed Katherine Hepburn for
Philadephia Story see below

Katherine Hepburn  who famously and wisely said
"If you want to give up the admiration of 
thousands of men for the disdain of one, go ahead and get married"
Schiaparelli probably agreed with her - we know that Chanel did! Xx

Elsa Schiaparelli - a Brief History

Time Cover 1934

Elsa Schiaparelli 1890 - 1973 was born in Rome

She was Rebellious and left home to work as a Nanny in London.
On a trip to Paris she met Count William de Wendt de Kerlor,
a Breton-Swiss theosophist, and married him.
In 1921 the couple moved to New York, 
where she worked as a film scriptwriter and translator 
and sold French dresses to wealthy American friends.

Her husband had an affair with Isadora Duncan,
 and he left Schiaparelli soon after the birth of their daughter 
Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha, known as Gogo.
(Gogo's daughter is actress Marisa Berenson)
In New York Schiaparelli met up with Marcel Duchamp, 
Man Ray and Francis and Gaby Picabia, 
also Christian Berand, Alberto Giacometti, 
Meret Oppenheim and the Photographer Alfred Steiglitz.

She went with the Picabias to Paris with her daughter Gogo in 1922 
- she said  "Poverty forced me to work, and Paris gave me a liking for it."
 In 1927 she became a French Citizen, 
showed a collection of knitwear
 and opened her first 'maison' at no 4 Rue de la Paix
Her first collection followed in 1929.
In 1935 she moved to Place Vendome
Check my Post 
where she 
introduced the modern idea of fashion shows.

 She is credited with the first wrap dress, ready to wear boutique and zips in Couture. 
Schiap was influenced by the surrealists and dadaists and
her designs included an orange tweed mini skirt with black shiny bugs on, and 
a black suit from 1938 with candy pink collar with metal insects.
She collaborated with Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau.  

Chanel, her great rival, called her:  "that Italian artist who makes clothes".

She was a great business woman and had 12 commandments which included:

- Since most women do not know themselves 
they should try to do so.

- Remember that 20% of women have 
inferiority complexes and 70 % have illusions 
(leaving 10% who are just right!!).

- Never shop with another woman who 
sometimes consciously or unconsciously is apt to be jealous.

-She should always pay her own bills.

Shocking pink was fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s 
signature color and she described it as 
 “life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world put together, a color of China and Peru but not of the West.”

Some say the inspiration and love for the shocking pink shade came from 
her client and friend in Paris, Daisy Fellowes 
who owned a stunning 17.27ct pink diamond ring 
(bought at Cartier‘s shop at 13 rue de la Paix)

This is a Tourmaline and Diamond Ring Bulgari 
but I guess it looked something like this

 Heiress Daisy Fellowes (who was also the 
editor in chief of French Harper’s Bazaar),  like Shiap's other client 
Wallis Simpson was very fond of serious
and very beautiful jewellery see below in her Cartier Tutti Frutti Necklace of 1936
apparently Wallis had one made just like it!

Cartier Tutti Frutti Necklace of 1936
Daisy Fellowes

Schiaparelli also dressed Wallis Simpson - The Duchess of Windsor. 

Above: Pictures by Cecil Beaton from an 8 page spread in Vogue featuring
Wallis Simpson wearing the Lobster Dress (below)

Elsa Schiaparelli Lobster Dress Dali (Summer/Fall 1937)
Design collaboration between Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali. 
Silk Designer Sache, translated Dali's sketch to the fabric.

                                 Salvador Dali's Lobster Phone

Elsa dressed Marlene Dietrich

and Mae West
for her personal wardrobe, and 
 for the movie "Every Day's a Holiday" in 1937:

Salvador Dali's Face of Mae West 1935

Dalí created The Mae West Lips Sofa (1937) 
in the same shocking-pink color introduced by Elsa Schiaparelli.
See the sofa at the Sanderson in my Post

Salvador Dalí

Schiap also dressed Zsa Zsa Gabor for "Moulin Rouge" in 1952:

Marcel Vertes and Elsa Schiaparelli jointly won the British Academy Film award
 in 1952 for Best Costume Design for the original Moulin Rouge film, 
about the life and times of artist Toulouse-Lautrec.
Her business closed in 1954 following second world war.

Shocking Schiaparelli
(cover photo by george hoyningen huene 1932)
"Shocking, the Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli"
The Book that went with the special Exhibition 
at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2003
Click to BUY from Amazon

Schiaparelli Quotes

"Women dress alike all over the world:  they dress to annoy other women."

"Fashion is born by small facts, trends, or even politics, never by 
trying to make little pleats and furbelows, by trinkets, 
by clothes easy to copy, or by the shortening or lengthening of a skirt."

"In difficult times fashion is always outrageous."

She wrote her memoirs which were published in 1954:  Shocking Life

Schiaparelli Pink

Black and Pink Stripe Silk Dress

Lipstick and Nail Varnish in Schiaparelli Pink

The Schiaparelli Suite at the St Martins Lane Hotel
see my Post

Organdy Butterfly Dress 1937 

Pink Stripe Boots by Andre Perugia for Schiaparelli
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Dinner jacket, spring 1947, Black crepe and pink silk taffeta 
with paillette and seed-pearl embroidery and jet buttons
Jacket, 1938, Silk twill, fastened with cast metal buttons in the shape of mermaids.  
From her pink and blue, circus themed line.

Pink Moire Silk Dress

Hat fall winter 1937-8 collection
 The heel is of a shocking-pink color. This hat was worn by 
Singer sewing machine heiress Daisy Fellowes, among others.

Evening Dress, 1952, Organza, with cotton machine embroidery 
and velvet appliqué, and under-dress of Thai silk. 
 Ms. Schiaparelli was supposedly 
buried in a very old Chinese silk robe of shocking pink.

Elsa Schiaparelli Tears Dress
Dali (Circus 1938)
Evening Dress and veil Spring 1938
Collaboration with Dali. the Design resembles torn animal flesh with 
3D appliqués on the veil.
Light blue printed silk crepe with magenta under layer.

Elsa Schiaparelli Jacket
Jean Cocteau (1937
Blue silk jersey, gilded metallic thread, silk appliqued flowers
embroidered by Lesage

Horoscope Dress

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali 'Skeleton Dress'
(Circus Collection 1938)
Black silk crepe dress using trapunto quilting to create the padded ribs, 
spine and leg bones. Ultra modern silhouette.

The Famous Tromp l'oeil Bow Sweater

Orange silk organza evening dress from 1935 (Met Museum of Art, N.Y.C.)

Schiaparelli Perfume

Leonor Fini, the Surrealist Artist designed Schiaparellis 
'Shocking de Schiaparelli' Perfume Bottle
in the shape of Mae West's voluptuous figure.
(like Jean Paul Gaultier designed his perfume bottle in the shape
of Madonna's)
The Ads were Illustrated by artist Marcel Vertes

Marcel Vertes 1940 watercolor ad for Schiaparelli’s Shocking perfume, 
which shows a bottle of Shocking  reclining in a pink hammock 
with a floating couple above and Cupid below.

Above Marcel Vertes Ads for Shocking

Dali Designed the Bottle for Le Roi Soleil in 1946 to celebrate the end
of World War II.  It was a Baccarat Crystal Bottle.

Miuccia Prada

The Incredible Prada Designs spanning Spring 1996 to Fall 2011
Photo by Steven Meisel
Fashion Editor Grace Coddington
Hair Guido and Make-Up Pat McGrath
(images courtesy US Vogue
for promotional purposes only and not meant to infringe copyright)

Until next time J Xx

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