Elsa Schiaparelli Fashion Designer Essay

939 words - 4 pages

Elsa Schiaparelli designs are the personification of the word original. She brought the fashion world new shocking colors, surreal styles, and she found innovative ways to make clothing better. This French fashion designer paved the way for a new look on fashion, defining dressmaking as an art rather than a profession. Schiaparelli was originally born in Rome in 1890, into a wealthy family. After turning twenty-three she traveled around Europe, first to Paris and then to London where she met her future husband, William de Wendt. She married at twenty-four then, divorced at thirty, but not before giving birth to her daughter Gogo. This left Schiaparelli a single mother and determined to succeed in her life. So she decided move back to Paris, where she aspired to be a fashion designer. There in France she met the renowned, Paul Poiret, who introduced her to the art of couture. She got her big break with a unique tight knit sweater that had a white trompe l'oeil bow on the front of a black background. The story of the trompe l'oeil bow knot sweater started out with Schiaparelli's American friend who wore a simple yet stylish top that inspired Schiaparelli to design a sweater that was tight fitting and elegant. She made contact with an Armenian seamstress, and the two agreed to go into business together. The new business acquaintance agreed to reproduce a simple design of a big white bow outstretched like a butterfly on a black woolen top. This technique was most commonly used in interior design rather than in fashion and because of the originality of the sweater it made it vary appealing to the American shop, Strauss. Then she started her journey through fashion fame.Schiaparelli became famous for being beautifully unique in her fashion design and in her marketing. For example, she printed press releases on fabric and produced fashion shows that were distinctively extravagant. Which in these days a performance with fashion is ordinary but in the days of Schiaparelli's, it was unheard of. Most of her collections and shows had exotic themes. One collection was inspired by African iconography; another compilation was inspired by sailors' tattoos, and dresses had snakes and anchors. Some other collections she had designed were: Musical Instruments, Butterflies, The Pagan Collection, The Astrological Collection and The Circus Collection. Each collection of highly eccentric clothes caused scandal and success.Schiaparelli had a wide circle of friends who she collaborated with, which included writer, filmmaker, and artist Jean Cocteau. Schiaparelli reproduced a drawing by Cocteau on an evening cape in embroidery. She was recognized as an artist by people such as Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Stravinsky, and closely connected to the Surrealist movement. For example, Schiaparelli's 'Lobster Dress' was made...

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