Surreal style inspiration…

Elsa Schiaparelli’s, “Cocteau” Evening Jacket from her fall 1937 collection was created in collaboration with French artist, Jean Cocteau. Adorned in metallic foil, beads, and paillettes, this jacket is embroidered with a female figure with one hand hugging the waist and blonde hair cascading along one sleeve. On the back, the two symmetric profiles creating the illusion of a vase of roses complete this masterpiece.

Elsa Schiaparelli partnered with surrealist Salvador Dali for her ‘February 1938 Circus Collection’ to create one of her most renown garment’s that’s become unofficially dubbed as the ‘Tears Dress.’ Inspired by the vision of torn animal flesh, this slender soft blue gown is covered in Dali’s trompe l’oeil rips and tears, with a thigh-length veil featuring intricately cut out ‘tears’ lined in pink and magenta.

Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations at the MET

Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations at the MET

Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations at the MET

As everyone knows, celebrities rocked the red carpet for the MET’s Annual Costume Institute Gala to unveil “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.” The exhibit culminates Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada’s legendary passions for fashion by showcasing a curated dialogue between the designers that explores their history, culture and inspirations. Being a fashionista, I lust more for the creative composition of the showcased trends over the social aspects of the evening like Tom Brady’s faux hawk that stole the spotlight.

Although I’ve featured Prada numerous times, I’ve not highlighted Elsa Schiaparelli’s much revered style creations. Schiaparelli is renown for collaborating with 1930’s surrealist painters including Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau to craft imaginative garments. By kicking off her fashion career with graphic knitwear, she developed her fetish for unorthodox prints of body parts and food. As a style pioneer, Schiaparelli was the first designer to incorporate florescent tone zippers and dye them to compliment the shades of her garments. She also spearheaded designing and incorporating unconventional buttons shaped like bees and ram’s heads into her designs. In addition, Schiaparelli invented culottes, Arab breeches, embroidered shirts, wrapped turbans, pompom-rimmed hats, barbaric belts, the wedge heel, plus mix-and-match sportswear. Although Schiaparelli is prominent for significantly contributing to the style lexicon, it’s her revolutionary vision of integrating music and art and models with elongated silhouettes on the runway that had the greatest influence on contemporary style.


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