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"Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations."

Miuccia Prada earned a grad degree in political

Miuccia Prada earned a grad degree in political science, then trained as a mime (yes, a mime!) before creating one of today's most influential fashion brands. Photo Credit: Guido Harari

The exhibit juxtaposes the very modern Italian designer Miuccia Prada with the very dead Elsa Schiaparelli (hence, the "impossible" part) -- covering their fashions, lives and views on art.

Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) by George Hoyningen-Huene
Photo Credit: Conde Nast/George Hoyningen-Huene/Vogue

Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) by George Hoyningen-Huene was a fashion sensation in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, though her business eventually failed.

Schiaparelli, in this 1931 photo by Man Ray,
Photo Credit: Man Ray/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Schiaparelli, in this 1931 photo by Man Ray, wears a gown she designed with real and faux pleats down the middle.

Miuccia Prada earned a grad degree in political
Photo Credit: Guido Harari

Miuccia Prada earned a grad degree in political science, then trained as a mime (yes, a mime!) before creating one of today's most influential fashion brands.

Prada's Fall 2004 line featured computer-generated prints that
Photo Credit: Toby McFarlan Pond/

Prada's Fall 2004 line featured computer-generated prints that simulated pleats. "You had to look very closely to see that they were all fake," Prada said.

Schiaparelli's playful matchstick print, on a silk crepe
Photo Credit: Cecil Beaton /

Schiaparelli's playful matchstick print, on a silk crepe de chine dress worn by Wallis Simpson (later the Duchess of Windsor), photographed by Cecil Beaton for a 1935 issue of British Vogue.

From Prada's Spring 2000 line, a white silk
Photo Credit: David Sims/

From Prada's Spring 2000 line, a white silk crepe skirt with lipstick pattern.

Any good exhibit at the Costume Institute involves
Photo Credit: Handout/

Any good exhibit at the Costume Institute involves shopping and there are plenty of goodies to go with "Schiaparelli & Prada." Highlights include this lipstick print cosmetics case (a motif favored by both designers, $20. Check it out at the Museum's gift shops or go to store.metmuseum.org. (May 2012)

This collectible shoe ornament, modeled after Prada's famed
Photo Credit: Handout

This collectible shoe ornament, modeled after Prada's famed Flame shoes, $30, is for sale at the Museum's gift shops and online at store.metmuseum.org. (May 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

The
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Exhibition Press Preview on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. (May 7, 2012)

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