This exhibition is devoted to Elsa Schiaparelli—acknowledged by her contemporaries as the style arbiter of the 1930s. It is the first major retrospective exhibition and catalogue to examine the ways in which her creations mirrored the social, political, and cultural climate of her times.
The survey explores the Italian-born designer's career from its modernist beginnings in the 1920s, through its connections with surrealism, to the upheavals of war, the business struggles in the years thereafter, and finally the closure of her salon in 1954. Schiaparelli readily acknowledged that her special relationship with the United States—sparked by the sale of a trompe l'oeil sweater to an American buyer in 1927—was the foundation of her great success, and her impact upon and relationship with the American fashion industry is considered here in detail for the first time.
Schiaparelli was prized by women on the best-dressed list, including Millicent Rogers, Daisy Fellowes, Mrs. Harrison Williams, and Lady Mendl, and the clothing they wore are among the items featured in this selection.
Musée de la Mode et du Textile