Monkeys, bananas and circus binding Prada (left) and Schiaparelli’s designs (right)
Hardware by Prada FW2009
The Fountain of Apollo at Versailles turned into Schiaparelli’s dress artwork for the FW1938, worn here by the designer
Pentagram presents: “SCHIAPARELLI & PRADA: IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS”, the catalog
A small impatient audience waits for the revival of fashions sleeping beauty Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973). International design consultant Pentagram brings her name back into a book-compilation that goes further into details and historical references, in a graphical dialogue with Mrs.Miuccia Prada (same formula as the Met’s multimedia parade). Now a modern consumer has the chance to primarily visualize this forgotten name (or unknown) while being associated with contemporary designs (those of Prada). In my opinion, it’s a relevant document to teach active markets Schiaparelli’s history and vision, desiring more of a wearable impression in the house than static and dusty one.
Luxury’s camp must not forget the times we live in are different than those successful ones when Schiaparelli collaborated with Dadaists, the birth of fashion’s dot com (commerce), and how artistic associations have less relevance today for consumers. Initially, expectations are all about the clothes and how compatible they are with our streets, so it is preverbal to leave its vision for someone (the head designer) capable to divert her past into a bright women’s future. Reviving the designer’s vision will not be easy, but we certainly know Tod’s (fashion’s luxury group) will be very careful when turning 21 Place Vendôme (Paris) into her flagship store. Even with a small luxury fashion business, the group will have to ensure the understanding of the clothing rather than turning the name into a leather goods association. Today, the book fits perfectly the classical Prada nylon backpack. We still have to wait to see it inside an Elsa’s one.