Elsa Schiaparelli was a fashion icon who created bold and artistic designs. She embodied a vision of Paris that was vibrant and brilliant. Her revolutionary approach to fashion allowed her to separate herself from other designers in the 1920s and 30s and continues to influence the fashion world today.
“Shocking! The Surrealist World of Elsa Schiaparelli” honors Schiaparelli with 577 works including 212 costume and fashion accessories, with 365 paintings, sculptures, jewelry, perfume bottles, posters, ceramics and pictures. Some of the pieces are signed by the biggest names of the times, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau and Meret Oppenheim. Hundreds of sketches and drawings from Schiaparelli are on display in this immersive experience. These pieces allow visitors to experience the freedom of dialogue, the freedom to be oneself, the freedom to create.
Schiaparelli became famous for her knitwear with optical illusions, her innovation in womens sportswear, and her surrealist designs. The exhibit starts with her sketches of some of her most famous pieces and then displays her work at the beginning of her career. Her revolutionary knitwear is on display and highlights her relationship with fashion designer Paul Poiret, who encouraged her to enter the world of fashion.
As visitors continue through the exhibit, they are able to view Schiaparelli’s thrilling designs and her collaboration with other artists. Schiaparelli wrote in her memoirs that she found working with other artists exciting because she believed that fashion allowed for all kinds of artistic contributions at each stage of the creative process of the collection.
Schiaparelli’s love for surrealism allowed her and Salvador Dali to connect and work together to make amazing art. The two shared an unlimited imagination, allowing them to make suggestive and provocative designs. The exhibit includes a room dedicated to their relationship and works Schiaparelli created with inspiration and collaboration from Schiaparelli. Outstanding pieces like her tear dress, shoe hat, and lobster dress, are all on display.
Schiaparelli grows her fashion house to the famous Place de Vendome and creates outstanding collections displayed in the exhibit. Walking through the rooms immerses visitors into the world of Schiaparelli and her surrealist designs.
While the house of Schiaparelli closed in 1954, in 2006 Diego Della Valle bought the iconic fashion house and reopened its doors at Place de Vendome. Today, the fashion house continues to dress prominent figures around the world, even designing Lady Gaga’s dress she wore at President Joe Biden’s inaguratioin. The exhibit finishes with displaying the fashion houses latest designs, illustrating the next generation of Schiaparelli muses who continue to shape culture and the conversation around it.
Shocking! The Surrealist World of Elsa Schiaparelli, is open now and will close January 22, 2023. The exhibit will be on display at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs. You can book your ticket on their website.
"Shocking ! Elsa Schiaparelli, les Mondes Surréalistes"
From July 6th 2022 to January 22th 2023
Musée des arts décoratifs (MAD)
107, Rue de Rivoli, Paris.
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