Schiaparelli: From Place Vendome to the Louvre
Schiaparelli’s renaissance continues with a swish and succinct new collection by Daniel Roseberry and the announcement of a major retrospective on Elsa Schiaparelli in the Louvre this summer.
This season, the news from Schiaparelli is in black in white, with not a hint of the founder’s shocking pink. Inspired by his most recent couture collection for the house, Roseberry filtered it down into crisp chalk stripe suits, their cuffs finished with five evil eye gold buttons; giant caftans with drawings of hallucinatory flowers and fauna or flawlessly cut velvet coat-dresses.
“The couture was the groundswell of the collection. This is the sequel and the reality,” explained Roseberry.
White shearling coats were completed with black leather bustier fronts; black coat dresses defined by white passamenterie collars and piping; while velour blazers came cinched by large golden locks.
“Skipping color for just one season has felt very clarifying. And allowed more focus on the key to the collection – the tailoring. Which is also clear in the conceptual pieces. Not having to worry about color felt comforting. A clearing of the decks,” commented Roseberry, standing beside a bouffant white skirt with surreal squiggles and after-midnight creatures; or a leather patchwork column with gothic shaped bust and bumster.
With the exhibition on the horizon, the gently spoken American designer has been immersed in history of the house.
“So, we recreated these jacquard sweaters from the beginning of Elsa’s career,” added Daniel, pointing to a sweater with a silk stock in trompe l’oeil, or a cashmere roll-neck with piano key design.
““I feel more confident and with more agency to dip into the archives. These are quite direct lifts – almost a recreation – as I want to people to know how wearable Elsa could be,” said the designer.
The originals will be in the exhibition, entitled Shocking Chic, The Surrealist Worlds of Elsa Schiaparelli, which will open on July 4.
For this weekend’s presentation the walls Schiaparelli’s headquarters on Place Vendome were painted gold, the better to display a wide range of new bags, and shoes.
“I did drawings on a table cloth for a dinner we had and we used them as the print of the season and in our bags. I love our shoes and hats, and our bags have been knock-outs. We are making a big push on accessories,” he said, close by to five variations of his printed handbags, again in white and black.
Another room featured black leather thigh boots with golden metal toes; sling-backs with black claws or shearling pumps with golden-nose buckles. Though there were far less of the body parts of recent seasons, as the American designer carefully avoided being repetitive.
So, after a long period of trial and error with several other designers, the house of Schiap has gained powerful momentum under Roseberry. Last year, the brand opened an atelier space in Bergdorf Goodman.
While the ebullient owner, Italian luxury billionaire Diego della Valle, revealed he hopes to open a second atelier, probably in London in the near future.
Next stop, however will be the Louvre, with the retrospective designed to express the close dialogue between fashion and art, whose earliest progenitor was Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973). To consider her career exploring forms and inspirations, with passion and humor alongside her artist friends, many of whom considered her fully an artist herself: Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Jean-Michel Frank, Salvador Dalí, Léonor Fini, Meret Oppenheim or Marlene Dietrich, and latterly her fashion peers Yves Saint-Laurent or Hubert de Givenchy.
Asked what Elsa would think of her house today, Roseberry demurred: “I have absolutely no idea what she would think. A lot of people who follow her work have been so supportive, they can feel the connection. I am not an expert on Elsa’s work and I love her work. But it is not a burden.”
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