part two in the series of my all time favorite designers is about Elsa Schiaparelli.
This designer is one of my absolute favorites. Elsa Schiaparelli was born in 1890 in an aristocratic, intellectual and well-educated family.
Her cultural background influenced her in the early years and she was very fascinated by the lore of ancient cultures and religious rituals. Inspired of that, she wrote a collection of overtly sensual poems. Her conservative parent has decided to send her to a convent in Switzerland – short after she left the convent, after a hunger strike.
In 1922 she moved to Paris. She met the designer Paul Poiret, at that time he was the greatest couturier. He wanted Else to wear his clothes and lend her some pieces, that was the turning point for her
In the mid-1920s she started worked as a freelance designer and she made her first Elsa Schiaparelli product. A hand knitted sweater, soon it was named as a masterpiece by Vogue and became a top seller in the USA. A couple of years later her business really took off and she open an ateliers and salon in Paris. Her innovate take on how to use materials, cuts and details in a different way was not seen before. That meant that many of her creations was copied by others.
She always surrounded herself with the best artists, designers and craftsmen. And she was brilliant to make collaborations that emphasize her universe – some of her most famous collaborations is with Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau.
She continued her work with fashion until 1954, and designed both perfumes, sunglasses, hats, sportswear, swimwear and couture. She died in 1973.
The thing I love the most with Elsa Schiaparelli is the playfulness. The fact that her clothes somehow is funny, grotesque and beautiful at the same time makes it so interesting to look at. She was so influenced by Dadaistic and surrealistic art and she managed to transfer that into her avant-garde clothes. In my opinion, her clothes was art.
In 2012 the Schiaparelli house reopened in Paris