SCHIAPARELLI HAUTE COUTURE FALL WINTER 2023-2024



…AND THE ARTISTS.

After last season, which was about reducing each look to something concise and even sometimes arresting, my instinct here was to build the collection in a different way, for a collection that adventures, explores, and dares. One that feels more organic, more sensual, more impromptu. I found freedom in separates—a white shirt, perfect pants, enormous puffer coats and even knitwear basics like cardigans and tube skirts. I wanted to make an impossible wardrobe—impossible not because it’s not wearable, but because it’s so extraordinary, a Surrealist’s interpretation of a woman’s essential closet. There’s a sense of freedom, of disobedience; these are pieces a woman can assemble however she wants; that feeling of transgression and spontaneity she should experience when she does so is one I felt as well when I was creating them—most of the ‘looks’ you see here were put together in the days leading up to this show, as opposed to head to toe formulas that have been labored over for months. This approach felt like a revelation.

Uniting everything is Schiaparelli’s long connection to art and artists – their daring, their color, their process. More than any other Maison, Schiaparelli has always been in conversation with art: one form of art talking to and inspired by another. In this collection, each piece has been somehow inspired by an artist, either one of Elsa’s time, or mid-century, or of our own. We hand-painted a woman’s body with brushwork inspired by Lucian Freud, and then transferred that image to a stretch silk body stocking, where each brushstroke was rendered in shimmering paillettes. The sculptor Jack Whitten’s mirrored mosaic pieces gave birth to a broken-mirror stretch cardigan and skirt. A leather cigarette box that trims a ball gown skirt is an homage to Sarah Lucas, and the deep blue pebble-like beads and powder that cover a multitude of surfaces are a nod to Yves Klein, but also to Miro’s illustrations for children. Elsewhere in the collection are tributes to Dali – those surrealist sunrises giving birth to a multitude of vibrant color degradé’s, Matisse (not his work, but the palm fronds at the hotel Regina, now in black long haired shearling as a fantastic faux – coat), and even a white marble Venus has made her way onto a winter white melton coat. Even the walls of Lucian Freud’s London studio home inspired the dramatic chaos of painterly brushwork on an oversized white laminated puffer. This collection has been so heavily inspired by the agony and ecstasy of creation—but still offers clothes for a woman to love for a lifetime.

That combination of transgression and wit extends to this season’s accessories as well: Giacometti’s monumental sculptures are reinterpreted here as skinny drops of stone- capped gold, informing a new chapter of bijoux. Claude Lalanne’s beloved moldings inspired massive brooches and cuffs, for which I used my own house plants: I’d cut off a leaf, bring it in, and have it cast in metal, imposing within it some of our artisans’ faces from the studio. There are also Mountains of wooden bijoux – the first time for us. Burl wood hands, plaster white lobsters, and the Inauguration Dove, our symbol and promise of hope, dipped in gilded 24K gold leaf.

And our new Schiap bag is re-thought too, either hand-painted in multicolored alligator, or buried under piles of lightweight wooden beads, or its signature ‘trapunto’ technique echoed in white strands of plaster beads and bugle beaded measuring tapes. The toe shoes and the keyhole shoes are reduced to their most ‘barely-there’ essentialism, with the maison’s signature measuring tape running up the bag of the leg, a detail we will carry into the future lines of footwear.

We live and create fashion in a time when creativity, internet-breaks, and celebrity gags come at us weekly, daily, and now by the hour. Some of these aren’t even created by human hands or minds. Most all of them are forgotten by tomorrow. It’s why I wanted this collection to be aggressively, unmistakably human – and to be rooted in artistic references that feel timeless. To dress, decorate, but most importantly, to create, is as primitive as any instinct we have.

Going into the unknown, when creative expression and fame feels available to any and all, at least for a moment, we wonder: What can break through? For our Maison, it is the power of design, the power of our artisans, and the power of the human hand at work.

– Daniel Roseberry

Film by Titre Provisoire
Music by Ben Brunnemer.

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