It can still be noticed that many works of Prada recall
the works of Schiaparelli to a great deal. Schiaparelli used the image of lip
on her cloth design for 1937 collection as in Image 14, and this has a
reference to Dalí’s ‘The Mae West Lips Sofa’ (1937, Image 15). According to
Vickers (2017), “Schiaparelli explored the Surrealist idea of the fragmented
body and drew on one of its most provocative images, a woman’s lips”. In the
collection, Schiaparelli created suits with embroidered pockets in the shape of
lips which ‘resonated with sexual symbolism’ (Vickers,2017), and this was
undoubtedly inspired by Dalí’s sensational art and design which was created in
the same year. Similarly, Prada’s collection in 2012, she used image of lips on
her clothing design as in Image 16, and it seems to
indicate that her work plays with the surrealist concept with direct references
to both Dalí and Schiaparelli.

 

Despite
of clear parallels between Schiaparelli and Prada, considering visual elements
as well as symbolic meanings as well, Prada keeps her works to be distanced
from the works of Schiaparelli. There was an exhibition held at Metropolitan
Museum of Art in 2012, titled as ‘An imaginary conversation between Elsa
Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada’. In the videos, Prada is seated opposite the
actress Judy Davis in the role of Schiaparelli, and both have constant
conversation and discuss. They effectively illustrate different opinions, and
one of the prominent moment was when they talk about the relationship between
fashion and art. Schiaparelli said “dress designing… is to me not a profession
but an art” and Prada responds “dress designing is creative but it is not an
art” (Video from exhibition, 2012). Indeed, the conversation separate their
views on the matter, and shows that while Schiaparelli considers fashion as a
form of art, Prada takes fashion to be rather commercial to be art. Prada
widely recalls the idea of Surrealism and works of Schiaparelli the more it
comes to the recent years. It is undeniable that Surrealism has played a
significant role in the fashion world, beginning with great works of
Schiaparelli, whose root lives in the works of Prada. 

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