Schiaparelli’s Chinoiserie And Surrealism

  |   24-01-2017

Surrealist touches of Guy Bourdin, the French photographer from the ’60s and ’70s, and time-honoured Elsa-isms inspired Bertrand Guyon’s Couture Spring 2017 collection. The founder’s furnishings from her house on Rue de Berri were the starting point — in particular antique Chinese carpets by the Manufactures des Gobelins. There were gilt-threaded motifs on an ivory jacket further embellished with two faces in profile, or as a cutout on the décolleté of a shocking pink chiffon dress. Asian influences like Japanese kimonos and Chinese hanfus as loungewear also stood out. Guyon used silk-embroidered flowers and leaves as placement motifs on silk crepe gowns.

As for Bourdin, a double-face motif had been lifted from a Bourdin image of two women whose faces had been covered in caviar beading. There were strong ‘70s, diaphanous vintage-inspired pieces and powerful colour blocking.

Chinoiserie influences included a shorts suit in tapestry florals on a vivid lapis lazuli ground, a silk chiffon gown hand-painted with stylised carp, with fluttering scales embroidered at the shoulder, and a silk jacket with a dragon and Tibetan tiger motif on the back was exquisite.

Towards the end of the show there was a flowing black halter look in layers of chiffon with a keyhole-shaped décolleté. And the closing gown was delicate black lace with car wash pleats. It had a subtle lobster crest embroidered at the bib and a beaded chain slung across the body dangling a mini golden birdcage.

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