13 posts tagged "Diego Della Valle"
Finally, something’s happening at Schiaparelli. After the house’s current owner, Diego Della Valle, announced his plans to reopen the storied maison last year, there had been no news about a creative director, or even a launch date. Until yesterday, when it was revealed that the Schiap revival is set for July, with a fifteen-piece capsule collection of Couture by Christian Lacroix. The 61-year-old, Paris-based couturier’s homage to Schiaparelli—which will go on display in her original salon at 21 Place Vendôme—will be the first in an annual series of collaborations in which artists will interpret the iconic designer’s wares. The house’s permanent creative director, however, has yet to be named. Here, Lacroix, who has largely been working on costume projects for operas and ballets around the globe since his departure from the couture catwalk in 2009, discusses the Schiaparelli revival and his forthcoming collection.
Schiaparelli is a legend, yet also mysterious; you referred to her as a sphinx. Are you at all intimidated by the undertaking?
This will perhaps sound pretentious, but this seems natural to me, almost obvious—let’s say logical. I do feel a link with her through many signs since I was a child. I’ll face her glance on a portrait and try to guess what she thinks…and I’ll tell you yes, she’s goddamned intimidating!
How did Mr. Della Valle approach you for this project?
We have known each other for more than thirty years. [We met] when I was working for Guy Paulin and Byblos in Italy. Later, he made my first shoes for the first Lacroix ready-to-wear show. And we have friends and collaborators in common.
Why were you drawn to this collaboration?
I’ve adored Schiap since my childhood. This kind of project that falls in between the history of costume and fashion was impossible for me to refuse [particularly because] I planned to be a fashion museum curator and became a stage designer after twenty-five years of couture.
Do you see any similarities between your and Schiaparelli’s aesthetics?
Of course I was very inspired by her work, mixing past and modernity, high and low, elegance and eccentricity. We are both Mediterranean characters inspired by Paris’ special flavor and style.
While many are excited to see new life breathed into Elsa Schiaparelli’s house, some are wary of the revival and feel her legacy should be left untouched. What is your response to this and what are your feelings on the revival?
When you enter 21 Place Vendôme, the place which never stopped being “her” home since the thirties, you feel something alive, far from nostalgia. Everything screams, “I’m still here, alive.” I think this is good timing and momentum [as long as] we don’t copy her but try to extract the quintessence of her style. Her heritage is too often reduced and simplified to only the crazy, surrealistic, and caricatural side of her clothes. [People] ignore how close to the practical, modern, pure aspect of a wardrobe she was, especially during the war. We have to epitomize this image of her. Continue Reading “Christian Lacroix Talks Schiaparelli” »
Last May, Diego Della Valle announced that he would be reviving the house of Schiaparelli. Today, after a year of speculation about who would design for the revived brand, Schiaparelli has announced that Christian Lacroix will pay homage to the house with a fifteen-piece capsule couture collection. The looks will be displayed at Schiaparelli’s original salon at 21 Place Vendôme in Paris this July. “In this persona incarnating a true aristocrat, one finds a spirit where mathematics and literature as well as poetry coexist: Elsa is a sacred sphinge [sic] who never ceases to interrogate us while offering us new enigmas as answers. Art, theater and cinema…my wish is to reposition Elsa at the center of her maison and on the stage from which she once seduced the world,” said Lacroix in a press release. Going forward, the maison will tap top names in the contemporary art world to interpret Schiaparelli’s designs. The future projects will be revealed at an annual rendezvous at the house’s Place Vendôme salon.
Farida Khelfa, the newly installed ambassador at the house of Schiaparelli, held 58 appointments at the company’s freshly renovated Place Vendôme atelier yesterday. There’s no new designer at the brand that Schiap built—Diego Della Valle of Tod’s is reportedly taking meetings with candidates and an announcement is expected to be made in September—but there’s plenty of curiosity around the label’s rebirth. “All the great couturiers know about Schiap,” Khelfa said. “Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa, they’ve all come to see the place.”
In fact, Alaïa was still lounging in the atelier’s white salon (pictured) when this reporter arrived, sharing a story about a letter given to him by one of Schiap’s former lovers. Alaïa, who was friends with Schiaparelli, was supposed to deliver it to her, but he never did out of shyness and fear. Asked if he still has the letter, nearly 40 years after her death, he nodded yes. It would make a smart addition to the refurbished space, which already includes Giacometti pieces found in the Schiaparelli archives, eyeglasses by Man Ray, and a Dalí sculpture, as well as furniture designed by Vincent Darré.
Come the Couture shows next January, the brand will show its first new collection here. For now, though, the hunt is still on for a designer. “Schiaparelli was not about good taste, she was about having an opinion,” Khelfa said. “It doesn’t have to be jolie, it has be strong. It has to be forte.”
Ever since Diego Della Valle bought the name and the archive of Elsa Schiaparelli’s legendary house, he’s kept his plans for its future mum. But the opening of the Schiaparelli/Prada show at the Met and tonight’s Costume Institute Gala made the timing perfect for a big announcement: Schiaparelli is coming back. (Della Valle was on hand this morning for the exhibition’s press conference.) The revived label has no designer yet attached, but it does have a spokeswoman: Farida Khelfa (pictured), muse to Azzedine Alaïa and Jean Paul Gaultier, who will reportedly wear vintage Schiaparelli to tonight’s gala.
“The idea with Schiaparelli is to propose the brand with all its modernity, and represent dreams, art, and all the most sophisticated things we can do,” says Della Valle. “This brand doesn’t have to get involved in the frenetic world of numbers, accounts, and dimensions, but it just has to express itself at its best. The heart of this project will be the Parisian maison in Place Vendôme, in the original location where the first atelier was.” Issuing from that atelier will be “accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics, along with some clothing” beginning February. Rumors that John Galliano would helm the label were denied by his spokesperson as well as one for Tod’s Group, Della Valle’s company. The designer is expected to be announced in October in Paris.
Donatella Versace has announced July 1 as the date for the Atelier Versace runway show after making a quiet return to the Paris Couture calendar last season with a small presentation. This time around, the label will have two shows at the Ritz Paris—the location of Gianni Versace’s last runway show in 1997. [WWD]
An Abercrombie & Fitch on Savile Row? Not if the staffers at The Chap magazine can help it. The Chap employees dressed up in three-piece suits and staged a demonstration against Abercombie to express their discontent with the retailer for opening on the famed bespoke tailoring street. [Styleite]
Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle unveiled his new high-speed train service, the NTV Italo, this past weekend in Italy. The train, developed with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, will run through nine cities and includes all the works, such as seats made of Poltrona Frau hides, gourmet Eataly delicacies, and a cinema coach. [WWD]
Victoria Beckham is lending her support to young designer Christopher Raeburn. Though she is known to step out in her own designs, Beckham recently bought one of Raeburn’s waterproof jackets and “tweeted a picture of herself in Beijing standing next to one of Raeburn’s inflatable squirrel installations,” according to British Vogue. [Vogue U.K.]