Subversive designs, avant-garde fabrics - from tweed to rhodophane - iconic and surreal creations like her Shoe hat or her Tear dress, created in collaboration with Salvador Dalí, an evening dress inspired by the form of a tear with a trompe-l’œil print. Welcome to the universe of Elsa Schiaparelli, one of the most extraordinary couturiers of the XX Century with her extravagant creations so inextricably connected with the art world. Dresses inspired by Botticelli, Venetian cloaks with taffeta hoods, black gloves bedecked with red pythons, rings, gold claws and stitches, inspired by the works of Man Ray. And hats like sculptures, of felt and velvet, inspired by painting, theatre, the opera. However, this illuminated woman who went by the surname of Schiap, speaking of herself in the third person, was famed, above all, for her sweaters. Such as the black one she created in 1927 with a white bow, guarded today, along with other creations by Elsa, in the Collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, such as the evening coat designed by Jean Cocteau or the summer evening dress, part of the Parachute Collection. The famed black sweater was one of the first designs of the Italian stylist who later made France her home and even invented “shocking pink”. “Deeply convinced to be rather glamorous, I wore it to a smart lunch and it was a success. All the women wanted one immediately,” her biography Shocking Life states. In fact, lauded by Vogue, the sweater was immediately duplicated.
Samantha De Martin - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London