#8 Going to see an exhibition? Know it before you go!

I want to continue writing about my experience last week at the Met. As someone who likes art and has an appreciation for it, I like visiting the Met whenever I am in New York City. Although it was a short trip, I felt that it won’t complete my trip unless I go to the Met.

Before visiting the Met, I casually browsed its website to see if there is anything that interests me. I found about the Schiaparelli and Prada exhibition, however it didn’t seem that curious to me since I'm not really into the history of fashion, nor I know much about it. I know Prada through her labels “Prada” and “Miu Miu,” however, I’ve never heard of Schiaparelli. I still decided to take a look at the show recalling last year’s most-talked about Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. I was impressed by the ingenious works by McQueen, as well as the theatrical presentation of the exhibition design and the exhibition itself organized by the curators of the Costumes Institute.

Schiaparelli and Prada Exhibition at the Met.

Because I only had a basic knowledge on Prada and absolutely nothing on Schiaparelli, I wasn’t sure what to expect in this show. I could do nothing but to accept the curators’ opinion on their discussion of the similarities of the two designers, as works by Prada and Schiaparelli were displayed side by side. I could not understand some of the works as they were extraordinary.

Elsa Schiaparelli with Salvador Dali.

When I was writing my last blog entry (also on Schiaparelli and Prada), it required me to do some degree of research since I didn't know much about the two designers. Through my research, I learned that Schiaparelli was friends with Salvador Dali, and the two collaborated on numerous clothing and accessory designs. The Lobster Dress on view at the Met is one example. When I first saw the dress, I thought to myself, “who would want to wear a dress with a giant lobster painted in front of her dress?” I still ask the same question, but now I know that it had a meaning of evoking Surrealism, as Surrealism hit its golden age in the 1930s (the Lobster Dress was made in 1937).

Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, in Schiaparelli's Lobster Dress, 1937.

If I have had some of information on the two designers and their works, it would've been easier for me to digest the materials. I probably would've paid more attention, and the pieces would've been more remarkable. Therefore, in my opinion, if you're going to see an exhibition, it's better to have a brief background of the artist and the artifacts before you go. Some might say, the whole point of going to the museum is to discover new things. However, I guarantee you will learn more and you will enjoy the exhibition more than you expect, when you have a basic knowledge of the artist.


  1. i really want to see this! it sucks that toronto's textile museum doesnt have something like this..

  2. Should've seen this blog before I went. I had absolutely no idea about the designers either when I went. Now that I do a bit of a research, it makes it more interesting for sure. I shall go back soon!

  3. cool exhibition