Elsa Schiaparelli, Shocking Life, 1954
Cosmopolitan, elegant, superstitious and independent, Elsa Schiaparelli was one of those active women who epitomized her time. The Constellation capsule – as part of her 1946 collection – anticipated modern ready-to-wear: 6 dresses, 1 reversible coat and 3 folding hats for less than 12 pounds that could be brought easily, anywhere. Today, Prêt-à-Couture is born out of that subtle mix: perfect citywear peppered with quirkiness and precious details all synonymous with the Schiaparelli style.
An everyday wardrobe is graced with beauty and motifs inspired by foreign or daydreamed lands. The suns of place Vendôme echo the light and colour of Peru. A touch of surrealism and a hint of esotericism transform the house codes into an enchanting flora and an otherworldly fauna. Padlocks, pierced hearts, suns and eyes become poetic characters appearing throughout the collection focusing on jackets, sweaters and couture t-shirts.
Femininity and a free mind-set reveal the Schiaparelli spirit. Sensual materials, relaxed cuts and refined details soften the tension of impeccable masculine tailoring. A structured jacket is embellished with a shadow of embroidery or a winged padlock pocket. A neoprene and silk t-shirt is highlighted by an iridescent sun or an embroidered painting. Cashmere sweaters are spiced up with “exquisite corpses” playing with the Schiaparelli lexicon.