Schiaparelli’s surrealist seductresses
today Jan 20, 2020
Couturier Daniel Roseberry promised his guests a double fantasy at Schiaparelli – a meeting of the surrealism of the founder and the seductiveness of her fashion. He delivered on his promise.
What worked best were the delightfully slouchy pantsuits in black satin or navy wool, cut with power shoulders and worn with white unstructured, low-cut silk blouses. Devil may care, but somehow also classy.
Roseberry draped with abandon, sending out multiple bias cut ideas with smart cut-out detailing at the waist. Or with elaborate swirls of fabric, like the nude cloud dress, where a cumulus of fabric arose from one shoulder.
His accessories ranged from the couture-worthy yet also commercial to the spectacular – notably including a marvelous golden lobster-shaped finger-cap that seemed to grow up one arm, sprouting shoots, leaves and buds at the elbow and shoulder. Tremendously in sync with the rebellious Schiap DNA.
The American-born couturier covered many looks in the metallic fantasies – a nude cocktail that sprouted pearls, or iconic jewels on a model wearing dream-like golden spiky glasses. A clear tribute to Schiaparelli’s 1938 Skeleton dress.
Surreal yet also sellable and sexily sophisticated, in particular the brilliant cardigan jacket adorned with chains, which imparted great authority.
"One of the things you realize early as an observer of female-hood is that the gender all but invites a duality. For most of history, being a woman meant having to hide part of yourself at least part of the time – it was dangerous to be too powerful, too seductive, too alluring, too subversive," argued Roseberry in his program notes.
With a regiment of local beauties – Ines de la Fressange and Lucie de la Falaise – sitting front row, just down from the evidently content patron of Schiaparelli, Italian billionaire, and owner of Todʼs, Diego Della Valle.
Not everything was perfect. At times, Roseberry got a little lost in the surrealism, a common problem with the designers who have followed Schiap into Schiaparelli. Plus, a late pair of gathered silk faille multicolored cocktails looked confused and the final look, a bustier dress with absurdly large pink balloon sleeves positively had eyes rolling.
That said, Roseberry is clearly a highly skilled couturier with the design chops to conquer one of the most complicated brands in fashion, for this show looked like another very laudable statement. Schiap, we suspect, would have been quite happy.
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