Haute Couture Spring/Summer 14: Schiaparelli
The 'Schiap' is back
In one of the most highly anticipated displays of the week, Schiaparelli's show today marked the first collection from Marco Zanini for the iconic comeback couture label. The Rochas designer moved in September last year to revive the work of Elsa Schiaparelli, a woman who was Coco Chanel's greatest fashion rival during the 1950s.
The young Ms Schiaparelli – or 'Schiap' to her friends (pronounced 'Skap') was encouraged to start work as a designer by Paul Poiret in the late 1920s, going on to create innovative clothes and accessories between 1927 until 1954. She was heavily influenced by Surrealism and collaborated with artists such as Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau – creating the famously surreal 'shoe hat' and was the first fashion designer ever to make a feature from buttons, in the shape of bees and ram's heads.
Despite having been a strong influence long after her house closed (Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garçons and milliner Stephen Jones all cite Schiaparelli as an inspiration), and a brief revival by Christian Lacroix for Haute Couture AW13, nothing has brought the vision back with creative vengeance quite like Zanini...
With elegant swathes of tulle, draped off the shoulder dresses, dramatically gothic black gowns, avant-garde headpieces and even a Grace Coddington-esque red bouffant wig included, guests were most certainly granted with the 'show' they were expecting. The finale welcomed a structured, suited bride... Before the house's new head appeared making a double 'V' for victory signs.