Elsa Schiaparelli By Lulu Alsaud

Known for her fearless inventioElsa_schiaparelli_1937ns and unique style, Elsa Schiaparelli was born in 1890 in a wealthy aristocrat family. Roman by birth, she moved to Paris with her family through London and New York. She met many profound artists like Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and others who belonged to the Dadaist and Surrealist groups, their art and style influenced her and played an important role in giving a creative base to her imagination and fashion designs that she displayed. Schiaparelli style was iconic her lamb cutlet hat, suit with drawers, lobster dress are all examples of how she thought differently about presenting her provocative and daring ideas turning them into personalized pieces exhibiting elegance and class.

Schiaparelli saw fashion as a means to invite and challenge normative rules associated with beauty, glamour and feminity according to her own perceptions expressing what she saw fashion as. Schiaparelli in collaboration with Miuccia Prada did an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Show titled “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversation” a serrated by( Raymundo, Emanuel, and Christina. The exhibition established Schiaparelli as the designer of “fashion halls of Obscurity” showcased her experimental work using different materials, textiles to trying strange cuts and fits which questioned the wearers to ponder about ‘wearable art’ ( Raymundo, Emanuel and Christina 189). Her style echoed her found base for designs like her trouser skirt which she introduced for women to be worn for everything from playing sports or going to work. Her concepts continuously challenged the Post World War ii ideas of gender.


Schiaparelli focus was to develop and depict a new woman using Surrealsim Methodology shifting it slowly to object aestheticism was giving a new way of style that women can adopt. Her designed gained her credibility in terms of making rational and useful items for women. This goal and her concepts played an important role in presenting women in a more active role in front of the world. One can see the aesthetic and political influences of her time, her own reflection, the criticism she had to face for her independent lifestyle in her sartorial designs. Her way of working was more of an answer to the conservatives who saw women as the object of oppression. Her clothing gave her a way to express her independent and free soul.

Schiaparelli as a brand was relaunched in 2012, although the brand was always associated with fashion conscious people, but it would give an insight into her creations and how she has created a magical world through her pieces. Schiaparelli has always been in talks for her surrealist influences like her shoe hat or tear dress which display the true features of surrealist art as asserted by Sochi.

According to Flood (24), Schiaparelli in 1957 made beautiful brooches using exquisite black diamonds in the silver setting in multiple hues. The shape of the brooches varied from a lobster to crab, to a peacock and llama. Who could imagine that a lobster or a crab can look so beautiful and elegant? The future of Schiaparelli as a name distinguishing fashion and making its mark is something that depends on future. A statement was given by the house of Schiaparelli rightly stated that “The house of Schiaparelli” is looking forward while surpassing the aesthetic codes that were established by Elsa Schiaparelli. It follows a dynamic where a contemporary spirit meets its founder’s daring personality” carrying forward the legacy left behind by a woman who never gave into normative set rules.

Schiaparelli died in the year 1973
fter she left her Paris house. Her work represents conviction, and she created a fearless fashion which was useable yet distinct. Her style came in front of the world again after being dormant for many years in an exhibition hosted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Flood, Kathy. “Elsa Schiaparelli: Merging Surrealist Art and Fashion with Flair.” Antique Trader
Weekly 56.16 (2012): 22. Web.

Raymundo, J. Emanuel, and Christina H. Moon. “New York, Paris: Schiaparelli, Prada, Louis
Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.” Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty 5.1 (2014): 175-95. Web.

Sweeney-Risko, Jennifer. “Elsa Schiaparelli, the New Woman, and Surrealist Politics.”
Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 17.3 (2015): 309-29. Web.

Socha, Miles. “Schiaparelli Sets Relaunch Plan.” WWD 203.94 (2012): 2. Web

Zargani, Luisa. “What’s Next for Schiaparelli?” WWD 208.97 (2014): 2. Web.

Zargani, Luisa. “Zanini Talks Schiaparelli Role.” WWD 206.67 (2013): 3. Web.

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