Schiaparelli Returns To The Couture Runway With Archive References and Sci-Fi-Inspired Ensembles
Fashion3 Minutes Read

Schiaparelli Returns To The Couture Runway With Archive References and Sci-Fi-Inspired Ensembles

January 27, 2022 Share

Schiaparelli‘s popularity has skyrocketed in the last year, so naturally, there was a sense of anticipation around their Haute Couture 2022 show, especially with it being their first physical one since the start of the pandemic.

Schiaparelli’s innovative designs have created some of the most memorable event looks in recent times, thanks to Daniel Roseberry, who has been creative director of the brand since 2019. Numerous magazine covers, celebrity ensembles, and praise for redefining the red carpet have solidified the designer’s status as one of the best of his time – think Bella Hadid‘s appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, Cardi B at Paris Fashion Week, and, of course, Lady Gaga at Joe Biden’s inauguration. These astronomical accolades appear to have also inspired his couture catwalk, with an out of this world and stylishly futuristic collection. This season, however, the tone was darker.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS22 Show (photo by Filippo Fior)

It’s easy to envision what life might be like in another universe when our reality is restricted to our homes and yet another year of the pandemic. It’s no wonder, then, that Roseberry wanted to capture that mood in the house’s spring 2022 couture collection.

‘What does fashion mean, what does fashion have to say, in an era in which everything is in flux?’ Roseberry had asked in the notes of the collection that debuted on Monday. ‘What does surrealism mean when reality itself has been redefined?’ To answer such questions, the house took over the Petit Palais in Paris to kick off Couture Week, complete with sculptural metal pieces, archival references, and orbital motifs. The whole collection oozed surrealism.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS22 Show (photo by Filippo Fior)

Surrealism was an artistic movement that emerged in the 1920s in reaction to a period of war and economic instability. This era was distinguished by artists such as Salvador Dali and René Magritte, as well as Elsa Schiaparelli herself, who included funny and eccentric aspects into her creations, such as the house’s renowned lobster. In the show notes, Roseberry wrote, that ‘the heavens [is] a place to escape from the chaos of our planet.’

If it is ever appropriate to use the word effortless in haute couture, now might be the time – Roseberry’s collection seemed like a flawlessly executed concept for a house that it is perfectly suited to. The colours may have been more subdued than normal, with a minimalist palette of black, white and gold, but the designs were anything but, with Roseberry sending out some of the most otherworldly forms we’ve seen to date.

Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS22 Show (photo by Filippo Fior)

This collection is shaped as an orbital space odyssey by ephemeral movements, as  Saturn rings float about shoulders and bags, feather headdresses dance as if sentient, and gold strands drop down around a black cocktail dress. Roseberry was clearly inspired by sci-fi elements, telling Vogue UK that he has lost track of how many times he has seen Dune, the blockbuster starring Timothée Chalamet:  ‘We kept saying ‘Planet Schiaparelli.”

Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS22 Show (photo by Filippo Fior)

It was a fresh aesthetic, yet it seemed familiar due to the presence of many of Schiaparelli’s hallmark Surrealist style features – albeit with a futuristic and often ceremonial touch this time. For instance, the Apollo of Versailles cape designed by Elsa Schiaparelli for actress and socialite Lady Mendl in the late 1930s was adapted in the form of confetti-like embellishments bursting from a little black dress (another Elsa Schiaparelli hallmark). The designer also drew inspiration from a 1936 Schiaparelli black jacket with gold palm tree motifs on the collar and front. Roseberry reconstructed this item for the collection, adding voluminous sleeves and metal sculptures to the shoulders to heighten the design features.

We can’t wait to see this extraterrestrial elegance in action come Awards Season.

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