Rumor has it not one, but two Italian fashion houses have been picked as the follow up act to The Costume Institute‘s hit exhibit Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that next spring’s exhibit will feature the work of Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli, two women who brought Italian fashion into the world’s spotlight, and helped it stay there. There isn’t a person working in fashion today who can discount Prada’s influence on the way everyone from Milan to Milwaukee picks out clothes (except maybe Giorgio Armani, but that’s another story), and Schiaparelli’s influence on modern fashion lasted well after her house closed in the 1950s.
And that’s because Schiaparelli wasn’t afraid to test boundaries or be outlandish. Schiaparelli was a rival to Coco Chanel and a personal friend to Salvador Dali. She hoisted surrealism and Dada artistry from the gallery exhibit and put them on her clothes — her 1937 lobster dress (which you can see below on Wallis Simpson) has been referenced by everyone from Isabella Blow to Philip Treacy to Lady Gaga. Also, she loved loved loved Styleite pink — her website is covered in it.
While Prada might not be a student of that tradition, her clothes have nevertheless made an impact on the fashion industry, and some of her best work belongs in the annals of fashion history.
Of course, none of this means it will actually get there. The Metropolitan Museum has declined to comment on next year’s exhibit, and it’s not like there aren’t tons of other options for them to pursue (we’d love to see an exhibit of the British Royal family’s wardrobe, past and present, for example). Only time will tell.