IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS – ELSA SCHIAPARELLI AND MIUCCIA PRADA
Fashion victims will skip a little heartbeat hearing about the latest news in addiction to late designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Sixty years after her latest collection and forty years after her death, Italian businessman Diego della Valle, also known as owner of the Tod’s Group, announced a comeback for the label of Schiaparelli.
He bought the rights of the label in 2006 and told Women’s Wear Daily the big news right before the grand opening of the Costume Institute exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. It compares two of the greatest Italian designers of different eras.
The opening was held on Monday night with a huge and annual fashion event and a benefit gala which celebrities such as Chanel Iman, Anna Wintour and Doutzen Kroes attended. As well as the French model and actress Farida Khelfa, new spokesperson for the Schiaparelli label, dressed in vintage Schiaparelli design.
Elsa Schiaparelli, biggest rival of Coco Chanel, peaked in the thirties as one of the most iconic figures in fashion between the two World Wars. Her designs were influenced by art, especially by Surrealism and artists as Salvador Dali. The lobster design one of her most famous dresses, her ‘Lobster-dress’, was drawn by Dali. He also collaborated with her on the Tears-dress and the Skeleton-dress.
Other famous designs are a hat shaped like a shoe and gloves with red nails.
Schiaparelli contributed a lot to fashion. She introduced the color Shocking Pink, first for her successful Shocking perfume, bottled in a woman’s torso carved like actress Mae West, than for a blush and lipstick and next for a whole collection.
She was the first who used bright colored zippers on the outside of an item and the first who used garment-dyed zippers.
She was known for her, for that time period, unusual choice of fabrics as golden leather or cellophane. Her buttons were not just buttons, they were shaped as bees or sugar cubes.
After World War II, the designer had to close her shops, because she didn’t want to adjust to the changes in fashion.
But now old dreams and visions will be renewed. Diego Della Valle tells WWD: ‘The idea with Schiaparelli is to propose the brand with all its modernity, and represent dreams, art and all the most sophisticated things we can do. This brand doesn’t have to get involved in the frenetic world of numbers, accounts and dimensions, but it just has to express itself at its best.’
A creative director will be appointed in September, the first collection will be launched in February. John Galliano’s name has been mentioned, but that might just be a rumor. It has been revealed already that the collection will contain a lot of accessories.
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations till August 19th.
Portrait Elsa Schiaparelli by George Hoyningen-Huené
Portrait Miuccia Prada by Guido Harari