An Afternoon at the MET

New York City saw the worst heat wave this weekend.  So what’s better than being trapped at home exhausting our air con? A trip to the MET!


We checked out the ongoing Schiaparelli and Prada exhibit.  The exhibit was entitled “Impossible Conversations” since the two fashion icons are separated by decades and could not very well co-exist in the same physical space.  Yet there were so many striking similarities in their audacious creations.  The most interesting twist is that often times they’re motivated by entirely different ideas while arriving at similar looking outputs.  Highlighted themes included “Ugly Chic” (throwing wildly disparate elements and colors together to produce unconventional pieces that at first glance seem ugly), “Naif Chic” (defying age-bound fashion by manipulating childlike patterns and materials to produce adult fashion) , “Hard Chic” (borrowing elements from menswear and military wear to produce hard edged, austere but sophisticated attire).

What struck me a lot, particularly with Miuccia Prada, is the intent behind her every collection.  She never takes the easy way out or succumbs to popular trends and commercial viability.  At one point she said that she never includes draping and biased cut in her evening gowns because they’re so overly used and to use them gratuitously is a lack of originality.

Furthermore, each of her collections is always a thoughtful intellectual expression about her viewpoint on society, culture, and the arts.  Going from season to season, it’s hard to pinpoint any common thread, except the depth of thought given to each design motif and element.


Prada skirt: shattering (literally and metaphorically) the stereotype elements from hippies fashion (flowers, mirrors)

A design-related quote from Prada that I identified deeply with is that (I am paraphrasing here) if the form is simple, then to express a conceptual statement, the designer has to inject complexity into the materials themselves.  It’s something that I’ve been experimenting with and contemplating on an ongoing basis, as I work on new pieces. It’s never easy to be deceptively simple, but that’s also what makes the creative process fulfilling.


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