Shocking Pink, watercolor, 9" x 11"
Sunday I went to see the Schiaparelli and Prada exhibit at the Met. It was the last day.
'Schiap's famous shoe hat. Don't you love the red lips pocket - so witty.
Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 - 1973) was one ot the leading designers of the 1920s and 1930s with a flair for the unusual. The first one to use shoulder pads, animal prints and the inventor of shocking pink. Schiaparelli collaborated with artists including jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti and Salvador Dali to create the Dali Lobsters dress.
I'll admit I'm biased. I much prefered Schaiparelli to Prada in the exhibit and didn't even give them a look.
"The more the body is respected, the better the dress acquires vitality...The Greeks...understood this rule, and gave to their goddesses...the serenity of perfection and the fabulous appearance of freedom".
All of Schiaparelli's quotes in the show are taken directly from her autobiography, Shocking Life, (which I'm currently reading) was published in 1954.
Schiap was famous for her fitted jackets influenced by uniforms and mens tailoring. "[I feel] that clothes [have] to be architectural: that the body must never be forgotten and it must be used as a frame is used in a building…
"Two words have always been banned from my(fashion) house - the word 'creation', which strikes me as the height of pretentousness and the word 'impossible'. I kept in touch with the needs of women who had confidence in me and tried to help them find their type. This I believe to be the principal secret of being well dressed'.
"Waist up/Waist Down" looks at Schiaparelli's use of decorative detailing as a response to restaurant dressing in the heyday of 1930s café society.
"Types are vastly different. Women's looks should correspond to their way of life, to their occupation, to their loves, and also to their pockets".
Women designers are so much more practical aren't they?
I picked up Schiap's autobiography, Shocking Life at the Met exhibit. It's a terrific read detailing all the ups and downs of her exciting life as a tremendous creator and survivor of the highest order.