Schiaparelli: Man Ray mode for 2021
A golden metallic ear, with its own rings in the form of tiny worms; grasped by a black model, whose hand is covered in four golden knot-sized rings; and whose body is dressed in a hooded jumpsuit. She treats the ear as a mobile phone, explaining to her lover via the ear that they cannot meet tonight, as it’s an evening for Schiaparelli.
A mobile-phone ear, which would have seemed at home in Elsa Schiaparelli’s artist friend Man Ray’s film 'Emak-Bakia,' with its absurdist Dadaist touches. As indeed would have the next image - a black beauty wafts into a photoshoot in gold-platter hat and gold discus bra – paired with a barely-there sculpted little black dress and cathedral-high platforms, again with toes, in gold.
Surrealism in every look – as the discus became ecru felt on a laced-from-behind classy town coat. Even the sweater of the season – a white Aran – got a Schiap makeover with a golden leather bra cap. All the way to a gold disc eye-and-tear earrings and white sunglasses whose center piece turned into a Latinate nose with its own mini ring.
Matter of fact, the heart of the matter was the accessories, in a smart commercial play by the house’s creative director Daniel Roseberry. Seen in Roman studs, suggestive keyholes or Daliesque ceramic ear and mouth clips, or in angry goat heads - all used as buttons on 'S'-logo denim jackets, pants and skirts – in white, blue or black.
“Surrealism is a happy filter. Jewelry is as much an armor as an ornament. Its grammar is endless. An irreverent look is thus on the silhouettes. It's Schiaparelli!” exclaimed Roseberry, whose show video was interspersed with golden laptops with matching hands and golden-painted office chairs.
“All of us who love fashion understand that the marriage is sometimes difficult (and nevertheless necessary) between design and commerce. Too often the second wins. This is why I am happy to work for a fashion house where creativity is always first,” added the American designer in his program notes.
In a word, after a rambling yet highly promising debut, Roseberry has found the sweet spot at Schiap – classy clothes with a surrealist tweak; eye-catching, way-out-there accessories with commercial allure. Finally.
Elsa closed her business back in 1954, before retiring for two decades; and the brand has been through a few false dawns and designers since it was acquired by Diego della Valle in 2007. Now, guided by Roseberry, the future looks rosy, or make that golden.
Elsa, Man and Salvador would have been happy.
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