Monday, June 25, 2012

Elsa Schiaparelli and Her Eye For Fashion


Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) was an Italian fashion designer. Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars. Starting with knitwear, Schiaparelli's designs were heavily influenced by Surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti. Her clients included the heiress Daisy Fellowes and actress Mae West.
Schiaparelli did not adapt to the changes in fashion following World War II and her business closed in December, 1954.







Schiaparelli was an innovative woman and fashion designer. She had a lot of "firsts" in the fashion industry. Her career began with her introduction of graphic knitwear to the world of fashion with knit patterns and emblems. These led to her fanciful prints of body parts, food, and many more unusual themes. She was the first to use brightly colored zippers, appearing first on her sportswear in 1930 and again five years later on her evening dresses. Not only was she the first to use brightly colored zippers, but she was also the first to have them dyed to match the material used in her garments. 

She was the first to create and use fanciful buttons that looked more like brooches. They came in the shapes of peanuts, bees, and even ram’s heads. In Parisian fashion, she invented culottes, introduced Arab breeches, embroidered shirts, wrapped turbans, pompom-rimmed hats, barbaric belts, the “wedge,” a soled shoe that would trend through the 20th century and into the next, and mix-and-match sportswear, the concept of which would not be fully recognized for another forty to fifty years. While her innovations in fashion design were numerous, it was her creation of the runway show as we know it today that was most influential. Her modern idea of a fashion show included a runway with music and art, and the use of elongated, shapeless women as models. She believed that this boyish figure would best display the clothing. Many people do not realize the true sum of her impact on fashion and the fashion industry.



Cocteau
In 1937, Schiaparelli collaborated with the artist Jean Cocteau to design a jacket and an evening coat for that year's Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a female figure with one hand caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde hair cascading down one sleeve. 














The coat featured two profiles facing each other, creating the optical illusion of a vase of roses. The embroidering of both garments was executed by the couture embroiderers Lesage









Dali
The designs Schiaparelli produced in collaboration with Dali are among her best known. While she did not formally name her designs, the four main garments from this partnership are popularly known as follows:


Lobster Dress
The 1937 Lobster Dress was a simple white silk evening dress with a crimson waistband featuring a large lobster painted (by Dali) onto the skirt. From 1934, Dali had started incorporating lobsters into his work, including New York Dream-Man Finds Lobster in Place of Phone shown in the magazine American Weekly in 1935, and the mixed-media Lobster Telephone (1936). His design for Schiaparelli was interpreted into a fabric print by the leading silk designer Sache. It was famously worn by Wallis Simpson in a series of photographs by Cecil Beaton taken at the Château de Candé shortly before her marriage to Edward VIII.








Tears Dress
The Tears Dress, a slender pale blue evening gown printed with a Dali design of trompe l'oeil rips and tears, worn with a thigh-length veil with "real" tears carefully cut out and lined in pink and magenta, was part of the February 1938 Circus Collection. The print was intended to give the illusion of torn animal flesh, the tears printed to represent fur on the reverse of the fabric and suggest that the dress was made of animal pelts turned inside out.[14] Figures in ripped, skin-tight clothing suggesting flayed flesh appeared in three of Dali's 1936 paintings, one of which, Necrophiliac Springtime, was owned by Schiaparelli; the other two are The Dream Places A Hand on a Man's Shoulder and Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra.



Shoe Hat
In 1933, Dali was photographed by his wife Gala Dali with one of her slippers balanced on his head. In 1937 he sketched designs for a shoe hat for Schiaparelli, which she featured in her Fall-Winter 1937-38 collection. The hat, shaped like a woman's high heeled shoe, had the heel standing straight up and the toe tilted over the wearer's forehead. This hat was worn by Gala Dali, Schiaparelli herself, and by the Franco-American editor of the French Harper's Bazaar, heiress Daisy Fellowes, who was one of Schiaparelli's best clients.

  


 Skeleton Dress
Dali also helped Schiaparelli design the Skeleton Dress for the Circus Collection. It was a stark black crepe dress which used trapunto quilting to create padded ribs, spine, and leg bones. The Skeleton Dress was replicated by the artist Mai-Thu Perret for her mixed-media sculpture 'Flow My Tears' (2011), exhibited in the 54th Venice Biennale.



The Metropolitan Museum Of Art has a display going from May 10-August19th 2012

Schiaparelli and Prada



The Met's Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two Italian designers from different eras. Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias's "Impossible Interviews" for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, the exhibition features orchestrated conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work. Iconic ensembles are presented with videos of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches.

The exhibition showcases approximately one hundred designs and forty accessories by Schiaparelli (1890–1973) from the late 1920s to the early 1950s and by Prada from the late 1980s to the present. Drawn from The Costume Institute's collection and the Prada Archive, as well as other institutions and private collections, signature objects by both designers are arranged in seven themed galleries: "Waist Up/Waist Down," "Ugly Chic," "Hard Chic," "Naïf Chic," "The Classical Body," "The Exotic Body," and "The Surreal Body."

Schiaparelli, who worked in Paris from the 1920s until her house closed in 1954, was closely associated with the Surrealist movement and created such iconic pieces as the "Tear" dress, the "Shoe" hat, and the "Bug" necklace. Prada, who holds a degree in political science, took over her family's Milan-based business in 1978, and focuses on fashion that reflects the eclectic nature of Postmodernism.
I am so going to this!



My designs are creative all so, like my Scorpion necklace set in a faux amber, fine detailing, a beautify butterfly with filigree work holding this unusual piece. 

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