PARIS FASHION WEEK AUTUMN WINTER 2022: SCHIAPARELLI
SCHIAPARELLI’s Sculptural Silhouettes are Surreal and ‘Shocking’ … and Surprisingly Suitable.
All Image Credit: Schiaparelli
‘Fabulously shocking’ would be one way of describing a collection that closely resembles sculpture – ranging from surreal and kinky to being wonderfully wearable. Over the decades few designers have been more instrumental and inspirational than ‘the mother of invention’, Elsa Schiaparelli, who, in the 1920s and 1930s gave the world shocking pink (and Shocking, the perfume), the wrap dress, power suits, shoulder pads, mix-and-match separates, culottes and more. Her lasting and dramatic legacy has been sympathetically sustained by creative director Daniel Roseberry since 2019, who, this time around, vacuum sealed the brand’s salon at Paris’ Place Vendôme in gold to showcase his theatrical collection for Autumn Winter 2022. It was a feast for the eyes, no less!
These pieces are pure art … and yet, surprisingly easy to wear and incorporate into an existing wardrobe. Take, for example Rosenberry’s down-to-earth treatment of denim, cleverly inspired by streetwear and sportswear … and how he transformed a classic pinstripe suit with a touch of embroidery on a collar and cuff. Likewise, the application of studs, embellishments, rhinestones and diamonte literally transported traditional tailored ensembles to the realms of wearable works of art. White embroidery on black coats, and the opposite – contrasting black embroidery on white skirts showcasing stylized faces, squiggles and symbols created extraordinarily dramatic, fun and artful effects.
Semi-transparent dresses were embellished with crocheted cuffs and strategically-placed pieces of lace. Lace-up corsets with tiny, cinched waists (some were built into jackets) created sculptural silhouettes. Crocheted and stripy knitted dresses in graphic, contrasting shades were particularly striking, as were the billowing, oversized sleeves on blouses. Cone-shaped bras and pointy style-lines on leather dresses gave a fresh sharpness and edge to the pieces – a modern 2022 take on Elsa Schiaparelli’s very own penchant for surrealism!
The accessories were equally breathtaking: ‘Edward Scissorhands’ gloves, studded, kinky head-pieces in leather and latex, corset belts with oversized medallions as buckles and logo-ed molded leather torso bags added to the drama. Oversized hats that reminded one of flying saucers finished off ensembles with great flair and embellished berets shouted Parisian chic. Hairstyles were sculptural too – from mohawks to Dali-esque shapes and jewellery – necklaces, earrings and bracelets – was oversized, dramatic and reminiscent of what the master of shapes, Schiaparelli, would’ve chosen herself. Cheeky touches like gold nipple buttons gave a provocative edge to the collection.
As for the look book, it was the perfect way to present this exceptional collection – in demure black-and-white, to further enhance the graphicness of each piece, while paying homage to photographers like Herb Ritts and Viviane Sassen. One suspects that Schiaparelli, who designed clothes for an ‘emboldened new woman’ back in the 1920s and 1930s, will have been super impressed with this theatrical collection of bold and brave avant-garde offerings. No doubt loyal Schiaparelli fans all over the world will be figuring out, – as we speak – just how many of these works of art they can cram into their Fall 2022 wardrobes.