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Schiaparelli Reborn

©ourtesy of ARTINFO

Fashion Designer on Her Way to a Posthumous Comeback?

Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli’s Shoe Hat (collaboration with Salvador Dalí), winter 1937-38 / Courtesy Tumblr
Elsa Schiaparelli and Dalí’s lobster dress / Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

Eight years after a career retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Elsa Schiaparelli is back in the spotlight with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute and an announcement from Italian businessman Diego Della Valle that he is relaunching the brand that bears her name. With all the buzz surrounding the show and the revival, is the late fashion designer on her way to a posthumous comeback?

Elsa Schiaparelli revolutionized fashion in the 1930s with her surrealist tromp l’oeil sweaters, lobster dress, and whimsical prints. In 1934 Time hailed her as “the one to whom the word ‘genius’ is applied most often,” and said that Elsa Schiaparelli was a more dominant influence in fashion at the time than her biggest rival, Coco Chanel. But in the end, it was Chanel who triumphed after Schiaparelli shuttered her business in 1954, due to the post-war economic downturn. Continue reading