Review: Schaiperelli & Prada Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

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Yesterday my daughter and I spent the day in New York City. One of our stops was the Metropolitan Museum of Art  to see the work of two iconic designers. Elsa Shiaperelli’s designs were from 1920 to the 1950’s, while Miuccia Prada’s designs ranged from the 1980’s to the present day. Overall they presented 90 pieces of apparel and 30 accessories.

This was purely a trip for my daughter, a budding designer, as I’m totally focused on fabrics that make good quilts. However I found it quite interesting. The museum paired similar dresses from both designers, so, for example, you could see two dresses that were circus-inspired side-by-side. Almost without exception, my daughter and I preferred the elegant designs from Schiaperelli. Her evening gowns, in particular, were beautiful.

Along side each pair of designs were quotes from the two designers. It was interesting to see that they both had very similar philosophies.

My daughter was very interested in the construction of the garments. She pointed out areas where the stitching was less-than-perfect and other construction issues. I think it was good for her to see that top designers’ work may still have flaws.

I must admit that I was not in a great mood for this exhibition. It was pouring rain. We got soaked during our walk from the subway to the museum and my back was sore from shopping. My daughter’s dress shoes had gotten soaked in the rain, and she had blisters on her feet. We had to wait in line, outside, for another 10 minutes or so before we made it into the building. While most of us waited in line, people were skipping the line and cutting in at the doorway (I felt that the Met staff needed to stop this). Once we got inside, there was another 10 or 15 minute line to pay for our tickets. I am not a big fan of crowds — and this place was mobbed. In hindsight, I realized that New York tourists would have chosen the art museum for a rainy day excursion, so there was probably more people there than normal.

This art museum is impressive and beautiful. If you do come to New York, it is definitely worth a visit.

You can find out more about this exhibit at http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/impossible-conversations

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