In this illustration, Christian Bérard managed to portray all of the inventiveness, luxury and whimsy of Schiaparelli's famous Le Cirque (Circus) collection, presented on February 4, 1938. Elsa Schiaparelli described it in her autobiography Shocking Life as “her most tempestuous, most audacious collection (…); Barnum, Bailey, Grock and the Fratellinis were released in a crazy dance in the elegant rooms, on the impressive staircases, in the windows and outside”.
Elsa Schiaparelli proclaimed a deep admiration for her friend Christian Bérard, called “Bébé”. In Shocking Life, she wrote “To be approved and admired – and sometimes befriended – by Bébé was a consecration in the artistic, social and intellectual world of Paris”. The multi-talented artist collaborated numerous times with Elsa Schiaparelli. He created fashion illustrations, exclusive prints and even a painted folding screen for the showroom of her Couture House.
Christian Bérard © Adagp, Paris 2016
US VOGUE, April 1938
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