Paris, January 20, 2014
Elsa Schiaparelli was Coco Chanel's rival in the 1930's, back when female fashion designers still dominated the playing field. Dada and Surrealist movements influenced her designs with an "anything goes" mentality. Her most famous designs which included a "lobster dress" were created alongside the artist Dali. Largely influenced by the circus and the concept of being outrageous in and of itself, Sciaparelli made a name for herself as a true talent. With the failure of her business in 1954 to remain profitable, her fashion house was closed. Wiki has reported that "In 2007 Italian business man Diego Della Valle acquired the brand, but it wasn't until Marco Zanini was appointed in September 2013 that details of the brand's revival became public." This year is the first revival show after Christian Lacroix's eighteen outfit tribute this summer for the Fall 2013 Couture collections. Zanini was reported in Fashion & Style in regards to the efforts of his collection to be doing the following; "So this graceful collection, designed to be worn by a rarefied clientele, was not done just for promotion or brand building. Mr. Zanini had two aims: to make clothes relevant to the 21st century and that were “real” couture. He claimed proudly that “not one garment has seen a machine.” Interestingly enough, Schiaparelli was not known for her technique, but for her creativity, which may have been why the brand was laid to rest for so long. It is one thing to make garments for a couture culture that provoke emotion, it is quite another to be worth thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for such items. So Zanini has his hands full with this launch and his efforts were successful. The circus tribute came through in colorful prints and straw hats, but also in the leg of mutton addition on a gorgeous pastel teal pant suit and a white bridal tuxedo. Jessica Stam's all white look paraded in a goreous oversized bishop sleeve crop tuxedo jacket with a billowing gown. She was the first one to do evening dresses with jackets and so we see again evening gowns with a boyfriend's jacket and another ballgown skirt with a gorgeous blouse tucked in. We know Chanel was known for telling Hollywood to dress down but maybe it was Schiaparelli who was telling the fabulous Countess's to don a little bit of comfort when attending their gala's. The collection came off wearable while being outrageous and Schiaparelli would have been proud. Now that Schiaparelli is back on the charts, one must wonder if the return will be one of the greatest in fashion history. If so, it will be with thanks to the efforts of Zanini and also the fashion followers, studiers, and ancestors who are still living long enough to recognize the importance of this comeback.
For more selected images by this journalist please visit: http://melrosenow.com/?p=1686