On Seeing (and wearing) Prada At The Met

Does clicking on individual digital photo files count as “flipping thru” photos like we did when photos were actually, well, flip thru-able? If so, I found myself doing just that last week as the Republican National Convention played out on tv in the background. I found some from the past few months that made me laugh, some that made me wonder what I was trying to capture and some that I totally forgot I took in the first place. And then I found a bunch of forgotten photos of beautiful things from an exhibit at the Met that I perused this summer called “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”.

Riffing off the Vanity Fair column of the same name where Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias brought together two seemingly unaffiliated historic figures in one carricature, the exhibit was one part film and one part display.

The film, directed by Baz Luhrmann, was a well-orchestrated guess at what a conversation might sound like if the early twentieth century French fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli was placed at a table opposite Miuccia Prada, a present-day Italian designer and entrepreneur and, of course, the youngest granddaughter of the Prada. The real show, however, was the clothes. And the shoes. And the accessories, all which make up the Prada Archive at that mammoth museum not too far from my apartment.

I walked through the exhibit as the museum was trying to get the last few visitors out the door, snapping photos along the way. I liked what I heard, loved what I saw and reveled in the opportunity to gaze at the Met’s Prada while wearing a few Prada pieces of my own.

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