Elsa Schiaparelli Couture

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The Solar Circus or Heavenly Bodies »

” They have burdens round or square
drums and golden tambourines
Apes and bears wise animals
gather coins as they progress.”
Guillaume Apollinaire

Elsa Schiaparelli marvelled in the art of the oxymoron. A silhouette of pure, sharp contour is transcended by a vision of the ordinary becoming spectacular. It reveals a strong woman with Parisian allure and cosmopolitan fantasy. Today is about defining the essence of a style in fostering the paradoxes of such an eclectic personality.

The famous Circus, collection created for the summer 1938, led this new season’s heavenly parade to focus on the idea of sheen, light and colours enhancing the body. Haute Couture and the circus both crystallize poise, precision and sparkle – add imagination and an enchanting world comes to life. Grace and strength, like the feminine and the masculine, are paired in a subtle balance where women are confident with their seduction.

The Schiaparelli jacket becomes architectural. Graphic shoulder lines refer to the Constructivist aesthetic. Shocking pink, navy or black tuxedos and jumpsuits morph verticality with femininity. Lightness, transparency, draping and fluidity dazzle with tension when the fabric swirls around the body with daring sensuality.

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Shiny brocade, silk lamé and iridescent pané velvet refer to a grand attitude where restrained elegance plays with shorts and slits. Bejewelled dress-straps echo Calder’s Circus. The incandescent suns of the place Vendôme shine bright on jackets and gowns. The harlequin motif is reconstructed into a multi-colored embroidered dégradé. Circus’ stars inspire a milky way in which the house codes such as the pierced heart and the padlock are transformed into a new mythological constellation.

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