Metropolitan Museum Explores Affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada
A model presents a creation from Prada's 2012 Autumn/Winter collection during Milan Fashion Week February 23, 2012. Reuters

The theme of 2012 Met Ball which will be hosted on 7 May, 2012 is "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" wherein the striking affinities between fashion giants, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada will be explored.

The Met gala is regarded as one of the most glamorous social events in the calendar of the museum and is attended by celebrities from Hollywood, fashion and beyond.

The exhibition is inspired by famous Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias's "Impossible Interviews" for Vanity Fair in the 1930s which featured orchestrated conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work.

Iconic ensembles will be presented with videos of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.

The exhibition will showcase approximately ninety designs and thirty accessories by Schiaparelli (1890-1973) from the late 1920s to the early 1950s and by Prada from the late 1980s to the present. Drawn from The Costume Institute's collection and the Prada Archive, as well as other institutions and private collections, signature objects by both designers will be arranged in seven themed galleries: "Waist Up/Waist Down," "Ugly Chic," "Hard Chic," "Naïf Chic," "The Classical Body," "The Exotic Body," and "The Surreal Body."

The entire show is divided into seven sections correlating with the sections of the installation. This includes "Waist Up/Waist Down," "Ugly Chic," "Hard Chic," "Naïf Chic," "The Classical Body," "The Exotic Body," and "The Surreal Body."

The catalogue for the event features photographs by greats of the past like Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, and those by contemporary talents like David Sims and Toby McFarlan.

Closely associated with the Surrealist movement, designer Schiaparelli worked in Paris till the year 1954. Throughout her life, she created a number of iconic designs like the "Tear" dress, the "Shoe" hat, and the "Bug" necklace.

Prada, on the other hand, is often regarded as synonymous to Postmodernism fashion. Although she had a degree in political science, she took over her family's Milan-based business in 1978, and focuses on fashion that reflects the Postmodernism culture.