Reality Rarely Intrudes at Schiaparelli, and We Prefer It that Way | Savoir Flair
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Reality Rarely Intrudes at Schiaparelli, and We Prefer It that Way
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by Grace Gordon 4-minute read September 28, 2023

Thank you for, once again, making us dream. 

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Elsa Schiaparelli never set out with the express intention of starting a fashion house – much less one whose specific codes would resonate with society nearly 100 years later. She began with experimentations and artistic collaborations that eventually spawned a house, one that no one imagined could be sustained without its eponymous founder until Daniel Roseberry took the helm and – like a spiritual conduit – adroitly manifested her desires for the modern-day woman. Relying on the Founder’s own symbols and superstitions, Schiaparelli exalts the surreal in the everyday, and the extraordinary in the mundane. It's a place that allows magical thinking to thrive, where dresses sprout ribs and skeletons,  where fish swim and lobsters scuttle, a place watched over by all-seeing eyes and all-hearing ears – aka the rich realm of dreams. 

At Schiaparelli Spring/Summer 2024, all of the house symbols were there: the lock and keyhole, the disembodied anatomy,  the eyeball, the ear, and the lobster. The red nails from those famous trompe-l'œil painted nail gloves were even rendered as only the ruby tips – multiplied across the surface of Kendall Jenner’s closing dress. 

Each well-known motif was updated. The classic Face bag was given blue tiling that resembled reptile skin, the lobster lept to life as an outsized gilded adornment, eyeball charms dripped from pocket chains, and the classic keyhole was turned into a belt buckle. The forms of the clothes kept wearability (mostly) in mind. There were cropped blazers and bralettes, tailored suits, slouchy jeans, wrap skirts, and a variety of simple silk dresses with articulated bosoms that referenced the famous brown crepe evening dress from 1935.  And within the circumference of the familiar, surprising details awaited: pierced hemlines and cuffs, heels with leather toes, and a molded torso tote in optic white that was decorated with items you might find at the bottom of a purse: a pencil, a tangle of necklaces, a forgotten watch. 

The one thing that felt out of step, forgive the pun, were the sneakers. They were adorned with the house’s signature golden toes, but they felt a bit forced – as if they had been included because they got a note from the Big Boss to include sneakers to help boost sales. I felt it was a misstep because it erased the magic of the show by being too real-world. Sneakers were a commonality at every high fashion show when streetwear dominated trends. But that is no longer the case. Let us keep Schiaparelli as it is: a place where the real world rarely intrudes.


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LET US KEEP Schiaparelli as it is: a place where the real world rarely intrudes.

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