Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
The Schiaparelli fashion show, which kicked off Paris Couture Week on Monday, demonstrated an amazing fusion of historical periods.
On the same day that the Musée des Arts Décoratifs was scheduled to celebrate the opening of a retrospective honoring the founder of the fashion house, Elsa Schiaparelli, a collection created by American couturier Daniel Roseberry, who has dressed everyone from Beyoncé to First Lady Jill Biden, was displayed.
In what must be a first for fashion history, a number of the garments seen on the runway are shown in the exhibition “Shocking! The Delusional Universe of Elsa Schiaparelli. They consist of a black velvet coat with drawer-shaped pockets, a nod to the 1936 “Bureau Drawer” suit that Schiaparelli co-designed with artist Salvador Dal, and a velvet jacket with a trompe l’oeil neckline, which was motivated by her partnership with Jean Cocteau.
“There’s this word in French for when you’re driving on a cliffside and you have the sudden urge to go off the road. It’s called ‘the call of the void,’” he said during a preview the day before. L’appel du vide is the phrase used in French, and it’s not as dismal as it seems. It’s an obtrusive idea that validates our want to survive, psychologically speaking. “I think that’s what this spaciness felt like to me,” he explained, surrounded by orbital dresses and planetary bags in his Place Vendôme salons. “The void is the absence of this reality.”
Roseberry may have been expected to celebrate the event by focusing even more on the avant-garde, Surrealist creations that have made him famous. Instead, he debuted his most conventional collection to date, which was infused with the couture motifs that had influenced him as a young man.
The most notable of them is Christian Lacroix, who in 2013 launched the Schiaparelli renaissance with a special homage collection. The two guys just had a talk for a profile in Interview magazine, and it ignited something. The lineup was studded with tributes to Lacroix, including a velvet choker with a big metal cross hanging from it, a dove gray pouf skirt with enormous whorls of satin, and straw boaters in the Provençal manner. Razor-sharp black velvet suits were embellished with corseted midriffs or garlands of vibrant fake flowers.
The books by Carolyne Roehm that was on his grandmother’s coffee table, “A Passion for Flowers,” had the floral pictures. In order to evoke a feeling of “creative purity” in his work, Roseberry looks back to those early impressions.
For those who love fashion, it was the culmination of a remarkable journey that began in the 1930s with Schiaparelli’s skeleton dress, which served as the model for Saskia de Brauw’s cutaway corset top, continued through the 1980s with Lacroix’s revolutionary Baroque aesthetic, and ended in the present with Roseberry’s red carpet fashion revolution for a young, courage era.