While the excitement surrounding "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" didn't have quite the same fervor as its predecessor “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” (understatement of the year?), we expected that it would fare pretty well. But, according to The New York Times, the exhibition closed quietly Sunday with only about half of the number of attendees as McQueen had the year before.
To put this stat into perspective, the McQueen exhibition came on the heels of the designer's suicide and the impassioned outpouring that ensued. The number of people that came out to see it -- 661,509 -- was far higher than any costume exhibition on record at The Met and the show's run had to be extended twice, so it wasn't exactly an easy act to follow.
That said, Schiap and Prada's 339,838 attendance is still a bit lackluster. The show in 2008, "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy," brought out 576,000 viewers while the Jacqueline Kennedy show in 2001 had a turnout of 559,902. Coco Chanel, another big-ticket name, managed an attendance of 463,600. And even though Prada is also an important name in the fashion industry, perhaps her pairing with Schiaparelli was not enough draw for the masses?
This possibility, of course, was not unrecognized by the curators of the show. In an interview with New York Magazine, co-curator Andrew Bolton, said that he had no intention of replicating the "emotional" frenzy of the McQueen exhibition:
We deliberately wanted to do something more high-concept and more intellectual than an emotional experience. We also wanted to focus on designers who are able to marry their conceptualism with practicality.
Well, we're fairly certain that The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not wanting for visitors, so we applaud the curators for putting together a show that they felt passionate about even if they knew it might be a dud. Do you think the choice to feature Prada and Schiaparelli was a mistake?
Take a look at the stunning guests at the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" opening gala!