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Schiaparelli: from Elsa to Daniel Roseberry

Everything you need to know about the brand that revolutionized Haute Couture

Schiaparelli: from Elsa to Daniel Roseberry Everything you need to know about the brand that revolutionized Haute Couture

The dress worn by Bella Hadid that made people sigh a few days ago at the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival is from Schiaparelli Fall 2021 Couture: a simple wrap dress in candy long to the ankles, enriched with a maxi necklace with the shape of "branches of lungs" that covers the décolleté of the supermodel. Proclaimed the best dressed of the Festival so far, Bella wears an iconic brand for the history of fashion, founded by Elsa Schiaparelli in 1932.


Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian fashion designer (naturalized French), was the most influential figure in fashion in the period between the two world wars together with Coco Chanel, with whom it is said she had a fierce competition. Inventor of shocking pink, collaborator and friend of Salvador Dalì, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Duchamp, precursor of modern feminism, Elsa has the merit of having irremediably changed our way of understanding fashion, no longer clothing or couture, but a subsequent step, fashion as a piece of art. The perfect synthesis between art and clothing, with elaborate visual games that build illusory images on the body thanks to the collaboration with the most eminent artists of the time (and of all time), lobster dresses, surrealist accessories, newspaper print blouses, sculptural silhouettes.


Maison Schiaparelli after Elsa

Unfortunately, the Parisian maison could not withstand the loss of the designer in 1973, closing its doors for almost 40 years until 2012, when the brand was relaunched by the Italian entrepreneur Diego Della Valle. In 2012, the historic headquarters in Place Vendôme were restored, but, although the relaunch immediately attracted the curiosity and enthusiasm of those in the sector, the maison was slow to get on. Numerous artistic directors have followed one another over the years, perhaps unable to create a satisfactory synthesis between the brand's archive and the needs of the contemporary world: Christian Lacroix, Marco Zanini, Bertrand Guyon and, finally, in 2019 the turning point with Daniel Roseberry.


The era of Daniel Roseberry

The Texan designer, after a decade at Thom Browne, has succeeded in the arduous task: to make clothes and accessories cool, wearable and coveted, which although carry within them the DNA of the 30s, of the artistic avant-garde linked to that time, of Elsa's heritage.

The artistic and personal acquaintance between Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalì returns in Daniel Roseberry's prét-a-porter collection, Body Parts Jewelry, the Spring/Summer 2021. Bold, visionary, exuberant and oversized, just like the images produced by the exponents of the surrealist current, inspired by the parts of the body: nipple-shaped earrings, rows of teeth as necklaces and glasses in which the eyes are drawn on lenses, for a “trompe l'oeil effect”, thimbles that simulate long golden fingers and other bizarre accessories, such as a mask that transforms the lower part of the face into a hieratic sculpture. Then there is the famous Eye of Cocteau, a surrealist symbol that was created by the artist Jean Cocteau for Schiaparelli in 1937 and later taken up by Dalì who, with the title Eye of Time, gave life to a brooch in platinum and diamonds. in which the hands of the clock mark an unspecified hour suspended in time.

In the Spring 2021 Couture collection, leather corsets are modeled on the abdominal muscles and female breasts like armor of contemporary amazons - one of these armor dresses was sported by Kim Kardashian in the olive green color on last Christmas - mermaid dresses with silhouette fitted and padded on the bust and arms that remind superheroines in action.
Lady Gaga wore a dress specially created by Roseberry on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of John Biden, a sartorial work with the colors of the American flag and a giant golden dove for decoration and a fluffy skirt with such a large diameter that alone would have allowed to maintain social distances in times of Covid-19. Also this year to Schiaparelli goes the honor of having dressed Beyoncé at the Grammy Awards, with a body-hugging black dress in leather and built-in gloves and the brand's signature oversized teardrop earrings.


The new "Matador Couture" and Elsa's heritage

Then "The Matador" for Fall 2021 Couture is a direct homage to the 1937 Jean Cocteau x Schiaparelli masterpiece and the reinterpretation of the iconic Schiaparelli jackets of the past: matador-inspired cropped jackets with embroidered barrel sleeves and black silk tassels, details in contrasting pink silk, embroidered shells, baroque-style gold inserts.

For a brand that deals exclusively with Couture, the newfound fame has been exponential and the rapid rise, and the reasons seem to be multiple: from the brand ambassadors to the new strategies of the Maison, but also to the genuine interest of the stars in a brand like this. unique of its kind and, last but not least, to the creative direction of Roseberry who has been able to keep faith with the nature of the brand and its heritage making it contemporary, without upsetting anything; in fact, the only "accusation" leveled against the young designer is that he did not bring any innovation to the brand's archive. And if we certainly cannot think of the Parisian Maison as a clothing brand - we must rather look at the individual items as a work of art and at the buyers as collectors who buy a Van Gogh or a Fontana - the Roseberry's innovation lies in making these creations wearable on a red carpet or on a special occasion by celebrities who appreciate the audacity and creative flair.