Joyful Surrealism: Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW21

Master of Modern, Schiaparelli, reflects hope during the turbulent times brought about by the pandemic.

Credit: Vogue

“What is Schiaparelli?”, asks Daniel Rosenberry in his AW21 Spring show notes.

“It’s a dedication to the unexpected, the risky, and the exuberant… Surrealism writ joyful.”

Source: Vogue

Prior to Rosenberry’s tenure at Schiaparelli, the 33-year-old designer spent more than 10 years alongside Thom Browne as the head of men’s and women’s collections, breathing an avant-garde vision of life into the House of the Place Vendôme. His vision works in-line with founder Elsa Schiaparelli’s, whose non-traditional creative heritage is lain in the history of fashion. “That combination, of wit and wonder, is what defined her work – I hope it defines mine as well,” asserted Roseberry.

Beating the Odds

In July of 2019, Schiaparelli debuted in the halcyon summer prior to the pandemic’s devastating effect on the fashion industry. The American newcomer, Rosenberry, is fortunate enough to have beaten the odds over recent years; successfully reintroducing the design house to the modern world. Stars including Lady Gaga and Beyonce have both chosen Schiaparelli for the Biden inauguration and Grammys retrospectively.

Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli at the Inauguration | Credit: Tatler Hong Kong

The AW21 couture collection is Roseberry’s fourth collection, drenched in nostalgia. The presentation is absent of the divisive styles of his former couture collection.

Nostalgic Design

The leather six-pack abs mould-style corsets of SS21 have been left out in favour of designs that draw their inspiration from Spanish archetypes.

“This collection is a total surrender to the iconic codes of couture, to the point of fetishisation,” says Roseberry.

Source: 10 Magazine

The theatrical line features gaudy matadors with billowing sleeves, golden horns and a new-age twist.

A bridal gown followed by 70 metres of white cartridge pleated taffeta opened the AW21 presentation. Rosenberry says, “We’ve had so many requests from clients who come looking for this irreverent grandeur that we’ve been doing.”

The sculptural forms for which Rosenberry has become known celebrates anatomy in the most unearthly way, and this has become a main point of focus and inspiration throughout his work.

An Amalgamation of Ideas

The AW21 couture collection builds upon the designer’s existing ethos and aesthetic and is as a result, a more diverse amalgamation of ideas.

“I found myself wondering, again and again: what if you combined a little Manet; a little Lacroix… 1980s… 1880s… matador… space alien… a little Ingres… a little shimmer; a lot of colour?”

Source: Dazed

Credit: Harper’s Bazaar

A black jacket with pink silk rose detailing is an ode to the collaboration between Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau in 1937. There are pieces, styling vintage Schiaparelli threading. A denim jacket, patch-worked from 11 pairs of second-hand Levi’s bought at a local vintage store.

Supermodel Bella Hadid has recently chosen an avant-garde Schiaparelli gown from the A/W couture collection to wear to the Cannes Film Festival premiere of The Piani (Three Floors). The piece has a wool fabrication and features a gold necklace in the shape of the bronchi passageway of the lungs.

Armour and Embellishment

Credit: Vogue

Glittering rococo clutches accessorise the season’s looks. Jewellery features, which the designer describes as a kind of armour and embellishment. In addition, brooches featuring rippling abs are on display (reflective of the SS21 collection). Rosenberry writes in his show notes, “No more cookie cutter fashion.” This is because, as he explains, the world’s end took centre stage as a theme. Right now, he is far more interested in clothing that inspires hope.

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