I spoke with Baz Luhrmann at the preview for Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, the spring 2012 exhibition at The Costume Institute at the Met in NY. The exhibition features the work of two wildly influential women in fashion, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli.
The theme of the exhibition took its inspiration from a satire featured in Vanity Fair in the 1930s in which two people, who have never met, have an imaginary conversation. This is where Baz brought in his magic: he directed eight short sequences and recruited Judy Davis to play the part Elsa and have an “imaginary” conversation with Miuccia. Judy’s lines were cleverly taken from Elsa’s 1954 autobiography, Shocking Life, and Miuccia responds to her comments accordingly. Much like the Vanity Fair articles, Judy and Miuccia never actually met, though they appear to be seated at the same table and even toast champagne glasses at one point. So clever!
The exhibition features looks from both the house of Prada and Schiaparelli archives, staged within the various topics of conversation, many of which the two women disagree on, such as Waist Up/Waist Down — when designing Schiap liked the party up top, Miuccia likes the details to be from the waist down — and whether or not fashion is art. They never agree on the latter, but decide to remain friends all the same.
The exhibition is fascinating and Baz’s contribution is genius. Check out our exclusive interview and footage, in which Baz tells us what he is wearing to the Met Ball (Prada!), and what he thinks makes these women so incredible.