Elsa Schiaparelli to be the Next Big Hit at the Costume Institute?

Ranjit Rodricks , 28 Aug 2011
A portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli from LIFE magazine
A portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli from LIFE magazine
A gown by Schiaparelli
A gown by Schiaparelli

After the huge success of the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibition at The Costume Institute in New York, rumour has it that the next designer to be featured would be Italian fashion legend Elsa Schiaparelli. One of couture’s biggest influences in the Twentieth Century, Elsa Schiaparelli was Coco Chanel’s biggest rival at the time. And even after she shut-shop in 1950, her influence in the fashion world remained unparalleled.

The famous lobster dress
The famous lobster dress

Elsa was a very close friend of the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali and his famous telephone with a lobster in place of a handle-receiver, inspired her to splash a bright red lobster on one of her couture gowns. This was worn by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, who was probably one of Schiaparelli’s biggest celebrity clients at the time.

Isabella Blow and Lady Gaga wear lobster accessories
Isabella Blow and Lady Gaga wear lobster accessories

If in the past few years you have seen celebrities like (the late) Isabella Blow and pop-singer Lady Gaga wearing lobsters on the head and around their neck, the inspiration stems from Schiaparelli’s dress.

Elsa Schiaparelli design sketches
Elsa Schiaparelli design sketches

The exhibition is to open next year in Spring and will also feature works by Muccia Prada. Keep a look out for this one!

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