Separated by more than half a century, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada are two of Italian fashion’s great treasures. And despite their differences, the pair are the joint subject of the next exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada on Fashion, a double-header set to compare and contrast the life and times and work of the two designers.
But other than their nationality and the upcoming engagement, how much do the two have in common? Not much, according to Miuccia Prada, in a kerfluffle that flared up today. Prada’s matriarch was quoted in WWD as saying, “It’s too formal; they are focused on similarities, comparing feather with feather, ethnic with ethnic, but they are not taking into consideration that we are talking about two different eras, and that [Schiaparelli and I] are total opposite…I told them, but they don’t care.”
But faster than you could say mamma mia, her reps issued a statement claiming the quote was taken out of context. It read: “Miuccia Prada is honored and proud to take part in this exhibition which is ‘an impossible conversation between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiapparelli.’ Mrs. Prada confirmed that she admires the total curatorial independence of the museum to the extent that they almost did not take into consideration her vision.”
It’s a rather curious way of phrasing her curatorial admiration, and it doesn’t explain in what context the quote was given. But no matter what Ms. Prada’s true feelings are, her star power is sure to attract enormous crowds to the Costume Institute. After all, if something has to follow the massive success of the Alexander McQueen show last year—and it does—there’s no faster way of gaining popularity than by attaching Prada’s name.