Although the concept of “design” is sometimes derided for being frivolous, in this industry we know better. It is not just about being beautiful, it’s about function, and if it is both, that’s great design.
In fashion, the same sentiments ring true. Quality and pure function, mixed with just enough whimsy to make an impression, stands the test of time and truly inspires. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art mirrored two influential fashion designers for its latest exhibition: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.
The two women lived generations apart and, in their time, each were groundbreaking forces in the industry. Seeing their work side by side exposes the many similarities and many differences in their work, and ultimately reflects the societal influences of their respective time periods by serving the needs of the client (i.e. beautiful Schiaparelli jackets for maximum exposure while sitting in a café, embellished Prada skirts for the girl on the go).
Interior design, like fashion, can’t always stray too far from the “known,” but this risk-taking separates the great from the legends. Designers, tell us, how do you exceed client expectations? How do you present an offer of an unexpected element? Do trends in fashion influence your choices when creating a design for a room or a home? Let us know in the comments.
"Waist Up/Waist Down" looks at Schiaparelli's use of decorative detailing as a response to restaurant dressing in the heyday of 1930s café society, while showing Prada's below-the-waist focus as a symbolic expression of modernity and femininity.
"Surreal Body" in the final gallery, illustrates how both women affect contemporary images of the female body through Surrealistic practices such as displacement, playing with scale, and blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion as well as the natural and the artificial.
Copy for image captions and all images via the Metropolitan Museum of Art