Elsa Schiaparelli

Coco Chanel’s main rival, Elsa Schiaparelli, has been receiving a lot of press lately. The Metropolitan Museum in New York City currently has an exhibit on Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli called Impossible Conversation. Prada is a household name but few are familiar with Elsa Schiaparelli. Elsa was born in Rome and moved to Paris in her late 20’s. She started as a knitwear designer and in 1927 her collection was featured in Vogue magazine. In 1928 she started designing sportswear inspired by American woman. By 1933 she was creating evening dresses. Elsa found that her evening gowns were easily being copied worldwide. This lead Schiaparelli to combine her two passions, art and fashion. She proceeded to work with artist friends such as Salvador Dali, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Cocteau. Her designs were whimsical and each fashion show was an art exhibit; this was an extremely unique concept during this time. Schiaparelli designs were known for shoulder pads, colored zippers and creative buttons. She designed for  Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mae West, Katherine Hepburn and Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor). Has any one seen the exhibit? Please let me know what you thought.   X  

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5 responses to “Elsa Schiaparelli

  1. Love her designs and could/would where them now- especially her trompe l’oile knitwear. I find them feminine and flirtatious like a wink and a smile!

  2. I love the “wink and a smile” reference above! Her work is so classic, timeless, discreetly and tastefully luxurious – simply beautiful.

    • I agree, I love the”wink and smile” comment. Anna Wintour wore a version of the lobster dress (that the Duchess of Windsor was photographed in) for the Met Gala. The dress was designed by Prada. Schiaparelli’s designs are classics. So many of them we could wear today. I believe the Della Valle family purchased the rights to the Schiaparelli name. So…we all need to “stay tuned” to see what happens.

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