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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Schiaparelli opens Paris couture with an ode to artists

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No lion’s head at Schiaparelli on Monday morning but plenty of extraordinary visions from designer Daniel Roseberry, in a collection whose trumpeting of creative partnerships could not have been further afield from the current unrest that has swept France.

Schiaparelli SS24

A Fall/Winter 2023/24 collection which riffed on the many artists that collaborated – or might have done – with Elsa Schiaparelli in her long and storied career. Transferring a Lucien Freud-inspired image of a woman onto a silk body stocking; or playing with Giacometti’s sculptures in stone capped gold jewelry.
 
Some 500 guests gathered inside the main gallery of the frescoed Petit Palais, which despite its name is pretty enormous. All perched on golden Louis XVI chairs, most of them wearing an item of Schiaparelli body part jewelry. The security was tight outside the venue, located just off the Champs Elysees.

Scores of real couture clients and a circle of stars including Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu of Emily in Paris fame and Cardi B, who had the paparazzi in an immense swoon, as she entered wearing a black screen goddess sculpted dress, ginormous spiky wool coat and large golden earrings finished with pearls.
 
Roseberry opened with a brilliantly cut and constructed combo of strict woolen jacket and asymmetrical wave skirt – a sexy surrealist medieval nun look. Followed by a beautifully made cream colored felt wool coat embellished with trompe-l’oeil embroidery showing a white marble Venus’ hand and moody face.
 
An exaggerated sense of proportion throughout – huge twirling washed faille collars, oversized lapels in ivory goat hair, puffy sleeves the size of water fountains and shawl collars that rose above the top of heads.

Schiaparelli SS24

In a neat French touch, a brilliant corset dress in bronze satin extended into a long lace dress. Followed by an astounding off the shoulder blouse in ivory washed faille, combined with an enormous puffed to-the-knee skirt in ecru taffeta – supported by hidden underwire casing.
 
While a blindingly shiny mirror suit was inspired by sculptor Jack Whitten’s mirrored mosaics, continuing Elsa’s concept of conversations with different artistic traditions.
 
Everything looking a universe away from the events last week in France, when stores were looted on the Champs Elysees and hundreds of CRS paramilitary police prevented access to the nearby Place de la Concorde, Paris’ greatest square.
 
If anything, Roseberry ramped up his accessories – from molded ears with rhinestone piercings and filament earrings with handcrafted gold finishes to metal cuffs with faces and headgear finished with deep blue pebble beads. The latter a reference to Yves Klein’s famed blue.
 
“A surrealist interpretation of a woman’s wardrobe,” explained Daniel Roseberry in his copious program notes. And a memorable display of fashion, and a great way to open couture.
 
Even if the artistic dimension was so great that it felt like the clothes were wearing the models, and not the other way around.
 
 

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