This Haute Couture season, Schiaparelli is another house that’s paying tribute to the founder with the collection dedicated to the vibrant and daring Elsa Schiaparelli.
Yesterday, Clare Waight Keller dived into the archives to bring together a modern tribute to Hubert de Givenchy, but unlike the architectural shapes, slick and futuristic silhouettes, Schiaparelli offers a touch of vibrancy and free spirit that defined Elsa’s personality.
Guests walked into a bright “Schiaparelli pink” venue, a colour that Elsa was associated with in the 1930’s and is believed to have come from a Cartier diamond owned by her friend. Elsa was also the first to turn a jumpsuit into a fashion piece, which we saw today in flowing red fabric with a butterfly print.
There was a play of proportions such as the fitted jackets with small shoulders, narrow sleeves and maxi pockets. The signatures of the house were also seen in the contrasting embroidery, detailed buttons and gold jewellery as well as influences from interiors such as the coloured stones and bold prints. The wild and artistic side of the founder was reflected in the lace and faux fur, along with the models strutting down the runway in butterfly and gold winged leopard masks.
Elsa Schiaparelli was not a conventional designer. She dressed Ginger Rogers, brainstormed beside Salvador Dalí, and inspired a generation of experimental couturiers. The once ‘shocking’ label continues to surprise, and the world of fashion would be that little bit bleaker if we didn’t have Schiaparelli flamingo headpieces to gaze upon in wonder.