Schiaparelli’s first Haute Couture show since 1954 reveals a new context to translate Elsa Schiaparelli’s spirit into a collection relevant for today’s women.
Inspired by her eclectic personality and driven by an uncompromising vision of Haute Couture workmanship, Marco Zanini explores irreverence in beauty and elegance.
Embracing the rich and vast language of the house yet transcending it with a contemporary take creates a surprise. Yesterday, today and tomorrow’s character merge to express a timeless non-conformist attitude. Schiaparelli’s soul is rendered through hand-painted prints, bold motifs, elaborate embroideries, clashing colours contrasting pastels and neutrals, masculine tailoring, languid draping and exquisite jewelry. Each element of that lexicon may be worked individually or mixed altogether.
Epitomizing the ultimate sartorial excellence, silhouettes enhance a distinctive approach to femininity. A men-inspired short sleeve shirt is draped into an ultra feminine evening gown cut in a printed citrus silk crepe. All the prints are hand-painted and exclusive to the Maison. Their poetic names and quirky designs include Les Garçons du jardin’s tulips with boy’s heads turned into blossoms, La pluie de Paris’ irregular polka dots, Le Ciel étoilé’s graphic stars and Les Gardiens’ exotic characters.
Iridescent ivy leaves on a brocade suit are reminiscent of Elsa’s famous 1938 pagan collection. A graceful mint green ruffled skirt in silk cigaline — light as chiffon but stiff as organza — shows smocks obtained by delicately hand-pulling yarns. Embroideries reinterpret Schiaparelli’s archives mixing the same traditional techniques with new experimentations. Sabrage (hand-cut velvet), whipped-plate embroidery, ostrich and rooster feathers, ruches, silver-electrofused silk charmeuse, all exhale the highest quality of craftsmanship.
Jewelry presents precious flowers in the shape of carnivorous plants with a trapped fly. Translucent ivy leaves in melted glass are captured in brass to become bracelets. The nonchalance of wearing Haute Couture with hand-crafted flat sandals in crocodile and feathers pictures the renewed essence of Schiaparelli.