I was looking around Elle.com's "Need to Know Designers" section again and came upon this marvel: Elsa Schiaparelli. A designer with no formal training, she transformed the way designers look at fashion between the two World Wars. She was born and raised in Italy, but it wasn't until she moved to Paris with her daughter that her fashion career began.
She began her career with a determination to bring American-style sportswear to Europe's attention. She designed simple, practical separates that suited the working woman, and soon she became famous for her sweaters that featured trompe l'oeil patterns. Her designs attracted women like Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford.
Although her earlier work is beautiful, I really enjoy her later, more avant-garde designs. Schiaparelli designed in the age of Surrealism, and was inspired by artist friends, Man Ray, Salvator Dali, and Picasso to name a few. Her elegant gowns and accessories were shocking at the time, much like Surrealist Art was. One of her most famous pieces was the Lobster Dress, which featured a Dali lobster painted on the skirt. I would assume that it was inspired by Dali's Lobster Phone. She was truly an artist at heart!
|Dali's Lobster Phone|