Schiaparelli: The Unconventional Fashionista of the Surrealist Movement
The world of fashion saw dozens of incredibly talented designers over the years. However, it was Elsa Schiaparelli who set the bar for the future generations with her surrealistic creations. By stepping away from the traditional French approach to couture, Schiaparelli introduced the world to something fresh, colorful, and daring.
Schiaparelli’s unconventional approach was not for the faint-hearted. She shocked the fashion world with her bold experimentation and refusal to conform. In 1933, she introduced a new line of clothing with a futuristic twist that was inspired by her interest in modern technology. She made unexpected connections with surrealist art, incorporating elements of this movement into her designs, such as featuring flamboyant hats shaped like shoes, lobsters, and butterflies.
One of Schiaparelli’s most iconic designs that she’s famous for is introducing shocking pink to the world of fashion. In response to a newspaper article claiming that this shade of pink would be out of fashion, Schiaparelli created a stunning Grecian-inspired evening gown made entirely of this color. She also made use of this bright pink in several of her other designs, which led to the color becoming widely accepted in fashion.
Schiaparelli’s designs were worn by some of the most famous and glamorous women of her time. Hollywood actress Mae West was among her most famous customers, frequently wearing her unconventional creations in movies and on the red carpet. Other icons, such as Marlene Dietrich, Betty Davis, and
Katharine Hepburn, were also loyal customers.
Regardless of all the extravagance and the avant-garde designs, Schiaparelli never lost her sense of humor. She was a witty woman who didn’t take herself too seriously, and it shows in her designs. Her hats, dresses, and accessories were playful, yet sophisticated with her designs always aiming to challenge the status quo.
Elsa Schiaparelli was a woman who marched to the beat of her drum. She was unconventional, bold, and daring, refusing to conform to the expectations of the time. Her influence on the fashion world cannot be overstated, and we see it in the playful and colorful designs that grace the runways today.
Schiaparelli truly was ahead of her time, with a surrealist-inspired approach to fashion that continues to inspire designers today.