15 posts tagged "Elsa Schiaparelli"
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” »
Robert Goossens launched his jewelry house in 1950 and was quickly tapped to create couture fashion jewelry for Paris’ biggest houses. Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Yves Saint Laurent all enlisted Goossens’ talents, although his most famous works are easily the gilded bronze and rock crystal sautoirs, large Byzantine cuffs, and pearl brooches he created for Chanel. “The house was always a bit atypical. My father and Mademoiselle Chanel really created the concept of vrai/faux fashion jewelry together,” explained the house’s current creative director, Robert Goossens’ son, Patrick. (Patrick’s sister, Martine, is the hand behind the furniture and other decorative objects you see in Chanel’s flagship stores.) “The thing about [our approach to jewelry] is that it’s not a matter of price: you can go to the Place Vendome and see not-so-great expensive things, or you might find something fabulous at Monoprix,” he adds.
This season, Goossens has decided to reimagine some of its iconic styles (think braided metal belts, triple-strand necklaces with semiprecious stones, and chain-link chokers), and offer them at approachable prices (about $200 for a ring, up to about $1,300 for a heavy stone and pearl piece). “I want to make sure the Goossens signature is recognizable,” said Patrick. “Both for customers now, but also for customers’ granddaughters one day.”
Goossens’ Fall 2013 collection will be available at the house’s Paris flagship at 42 avenue George V, and online at www.goossens-paris.com.
Christian Lacroix, Haider Ackermann, Martine Sitbon, Bruno Frisoni. They all gathered at the Palais de Tokyo last night for a one-of-a-kind, one-woman fashion show: The Impossible Wardrobe, conceived and curated by the Musée Galliera’s Olivier Saillard and starring none other than Tilda Swinton. The performance lasted nearly 40 minutes, or about four times the normal length of a fashion show. No one minded. On the contrary, the crowd gave the duo a standing ovation.
Wearing white gloves, a lab coat, and beige suede pumps, Swinton variously carried, clutched, and presented vintage clothes and accessories up and down the runway, making eye contact with the audience along the way and pausing in front of a mirror to measure up how she might look if she was allowed to put them on. “It’s not possible to wear the clothes in a museum,” Saillard said, by way of explaining the show’s concept and name. “If Tilda hadn’t accepted our proposal, we wouldn’t have done it.” Above Swinton, a news ticker spelled put the pieces’ provenance, and there were some truly special items here: a 1968 Paco Rabanne dress worn by Brigitte Bardot, Elsa Schiaparelli-designed gloves with built-in gold talons from 1936, an embroidered top that belonged to Isadora Duncan in the 1920s, even a tailcoat covered in gold bullion worn by Napoleon. The Oscar winner actually sniffed the collar on that one, as if to get a sense of his essence. “C’est sublime,” said Bouchra Jarrar afterward. “A new way to talk about the history of fashion. One must never forget history.” In the history of this season, this will rank as one of its most fabulous moments.
CLICK HERE for a slideshow of Swinton wearing some of the pieces from the Musée Galliera collection >
The Costume Institute’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations show opens to the public on Thursday, following tonight’s red-carpet gala. The press preview this morning provided an early look at an exhibition that juxtaposes the fashions of two of our industry’s most provocative practitioners with videos of imagined conversations between them. Miuccia Prada plays herself and the late Elsa Schiaparelli is brought to life by the actress Judy Davis using real quotes from the designer’s autobiography, Shocking Life. The clips, which were directed by Baz Luhrmann, riff on not only Vanity Fair‘s 1930′s column “Impossible Interviews” but also Louis Malle’s 1981 film, My Dinner With Andre.
The designers are both female, Italian, and feminist, but they disagree more often that not. Schiaparelli: “Dress designing is to me not a profession, but an art.” Prada: “Fashion designers make clothes and they have to sell them. We have less creative freedom than artists. Maybe nothing is art. Who cares?”
Still, the curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton often make compelling connections between the designers’ work. The overlaps, for example, between Prada’s Fall 2012 Ugly Chic printed pantsuits (which, of course, reference her own 1990′s take on the 1970′s) and Schiaparelli’s circa-1930′s version are uncanny despite the nearly 80 years that separate them. The exhibition is divided into themes. In “The Surreal Body,” the show’s final section, dresses from each designer are encased in Lucite and juxtaposed with photos of the other’s work. “Schiaparelli is pulled out of the past, made more relevant, and Prada’s contemporary aesthetic is given a rich resonance,” Koda said during the preview, citing production designer Nathan Crowley’s “crisp, timeless” sets. He was nonetheless quick to point out that Prada resists the comparisons. “She was struck by the similarities between two pleated dresses, her own trompe l’oeil and Schiap’s 3-D. But she told me the eras that she looks at, that’s she’s interested in, are the fifties, sixties, and seventies. ‘I really don’t look at Schiaparelli,’ she said.”
Conflict, Malle could’ve told us, makes for good conversation.