15 posts tagged "Elsa Schiaparelli"
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.
With Impossible Conversations, the Schiaparelli/Prada Costume Institute exhibit fast approaching, perhaps it’s no surprise that surrealism has again found its way into fashion’s collective (un)conscious. Elsa Schiaparelli famously collaborated with the likes of Salvador Dalí, and Miuccia Prada has done more for the cause of surreal style than anyone since. And there were more than a few designs on the Fall runways that echoed the theme.
At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz and Elie Top nodded at artists like Man Ray and Joan Miró with playful costume jewelry such as crystal eye brooches and a chain belt with plastic lips. Diane von Furstenberg referenced the movement, too, with interlocking hands on a body-hugging dress. Some designs, like Mary Katrantzou‘s digitally printed labyrinth gown, made the surreal wearable, and some, like Stephen Jones’ spiny headpieces for Giles (left), seemed destined to stay on the runway—or perhaps, one day, the museum gallery.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW, and let us know if you’ll be keeping it surreal this season.
Christian Lacroix is the latest designer to be honored with a museum exhibit. His Swarovski-decorated designs for La Source, a 2011 production of a nineteenth-century ballet, will be showcased at the National Costume Museum in Moulins, France. [WWD]
Mary Katrantzou is known for her hyper-realistic digital prints, but a typewriter collector in Switzerland thought one of the designer’s Fall 2012 dresses (pictured) was a bit too literal in inspiration. Adwoa Bagalini, who runs the blog Retro Tech Geneva, wrote Katrantzou a friendly letter pointing out the similarities to her typewriter photo. The designer admitted the correlation and sent Bagalini her own typewriter dress. [Racked]
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who were appointed as creative directors of Superga in September 2011, are set to unveil their latest capsule shoe collection for the label later this month at Harvey Nichols. They have also revealed that they will be doing a Superga range under their label The Row. [Vogue U.K.]
The latest industry rumor isn’t about a Dior appointment—but rather, the house’s former designer John Galliano. Hint reports that Galliano may be heading to Schiaparelli. With the Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibit Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion, it would be a timely comeback for the Italian house. [Hint]
Today in Milan, the fashion set got a glimpse of some of the Schiaparelli and Prada pieces that will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition, opening May 10. How does one make an impossible conversation between two great designers from different eras possible? Curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton dug through Prada’s archive, as well as the Costume Institute’s collection and private collections, and culled 90 designs and 30 accessories by the two Italian female designers to demonstrate the arresting affinities between their work (Elsa Schiaparelli from the late twenties to early fifties, Miuccia Prada from the late eighties to the present). Take note, these are the first female designers to be the centerpiece of the annual exhibition since Coco Chanel in 2005.
The “conversation” plays out in seven themes, starting with “Waist/Waist Down” (which includes a 1937 black and white Schiaparelli number worn by Madonna’s latest film subject, Wallis Simpson, sitting next to a very similar recent look from Prada). It continues with “Ugly Chic,” “Naif Chic,” “The Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and finally, “The Surreal Body.” The galleries featuring iconic ensembles by the designers are paired with videos, directed by Baz Luhrmann, with made-up conversations between the two women (the idea for these “impossible conversations” was inspired by a Vanity Fair series of unimaginable exchanges in the thirties). Here, a few images from the exhibition.
When we set out to tell the story of 2011 by the numbers, one loomed especially large: 661,509, the record-breaking number of visitors who lined up, often for hours at a time, to see the Costume Institute’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (left) at the Met.
But it wasn’t just a banner year for the Met and the late, great McQueen; designers and museums forged a strong bond this year, one that looks likely to continue well into the next. Museums across the globe invited designers into their halls and the results have made for some of the best exhibitions in memory.
During Couture week, Hussein Chalayan opened a retrospective at Paris’ Musée des Arts Decoratifs, where next year, Marc Jacobs and his work for Louis Vuitton will take up residence. The City of Light also played host to Ralph Lauren and his collection of automobiles (it also now boasts an enormous new RL store and restaurant, one of the town’s new favorite spots for burgers). And Florence is the new home of the Museo Gucci, opened during Milan’s Spring 2012 week with all due fanfare, and a Blondie performance to boot.
In America, socials flocked to San Francisco for the opening of Balenciaga and Spain (which also traveled to New York) and to Dallas for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, which debuted earlier this year at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts. Just this month, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte opened RODARTE: Fra Angelico, a show of the dresses their created for their June presentation at Pitti, at L.A.’s LACMA.
Farther afield, Dior went to Russia, where house jewelry designer Camille Micelli sent us this postcard, for Inspiration Dior, attended, naturally, by a lavish party. And the Netherlands continues to be a slightly off-the-radar destination for fashion’s cultural tourists. A retrospective of the work of Azzedine Alaïa is now on view in Gronningen, outside Amsterdam, and the capital’s contemporary-photo museum, FOAM, which hosted the likes of Jefferson Hack for a panel on What’s Next, which followed a retrospective of work by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin—one which eventually became the germ of their new career-spanning anthology, Pretty Much Everything.
Here in New York, the more traditional homes of fashion, like FIT’s Fashion Museum, were busy, too. The museum recently opened the first part of The Great Designers, including Armani, Dior, Givenchy, and McQueen, and plans to open part two in March. Chief curator and museum director Valerie Steele also worked with clotheshorse and collector Daphne Guinness on an exhibition of her own holdings—which, it turns out, Guinness keeps organized via computer database.
Next year, all eyes will be on Miuccia Prada for the next Costume Institute exhibition, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada on Fashion. But before then, there’s a Louboutin retrospective in London to look forward to, on the heels of the shoemaker’s victory-lap 20th anniversary year. And WWD reports today that several fashion labels are taking a renewed interest in their own histories, too. Balmain is ramping up its archival holdings, and Chloé recently brought on an in-house archivist, in anticipation of a retrospective planned for its 60th anniversary next year.