Schiaparelli Animalia Fantasia
Photos Courtesy of Schiaparelli
Paris, France – In her 1954 autobiography, Shocking Life, Madame Elsa Schiaparelli declared, “Fantasy is a flower that does not flourish on passivity.” That philosophical view of life is well present in the Fall Winter 2018/19 haute couture collection of her namesake house. Wildness is tempered with style. Expressiveness is augmented by form and pleasure.
The new collection takes us from the sculptured shoulders of the tailleur jackets and coats to the ample movement exhibited in the oversized day dress and the gowns. The first are treated to small shoulder and narrow sleeves, while the second has a giant face motif. The third enjoy a natural kinetic movement that results from air coming into contact with the light materials of chiffon, silk, etc. Between these contrasts is where we find the majority of the collection along with their kaleidoscope of strong colors and wide range materials.
Daywear is more humble but not too quiet! After all this is Schiaparelli. But we see that in the cocktail attire and evening wear, the sobriety of the daywear’s butterflies and padlocks quickly yield way so that the artistic opulence (for which the house is known) can take shape.
The embroideries, precious buttons and butterfly appliqués help to achieve the eclectic punch that define all of the house’s work. They — particularly the embroideries — exemplify skill and add to the refinement of the evening wear pieces. And to those, the house has given the pieces more energy through its careful use and placements of faux fur, cock feathers, zebra jacquard, etc. They join forces with the illustrations of fauna and flora. This creates a visually interesting portrait in the mind’s eye.
PS: It is always a pleasure to see the some of the biggest models from the 1990’s and early 2000’s on the catwalk together again. Schiaparelli brought together names like Alek Wek, Erin O’Connor and Debra Shaw for this exciting show!