Schiaparelli’s FW21 collection, ‘Matador Couture’ is an explosion of creativity, mixing eras, colours, and inspirations to create something entirely new, under the creative vision of Daniel Roseberry.
‘What would happen if we combined a Manet, a Lacroix, a little bit of the 1990s, the 1880s, a little matador, aliens, a little Ingres and a lot of colours? Could we, do it? And how would we do it?’
The collection comes in three parts. Firstly, we see a tribute to the iconic jackets of Schiaparelli, and the earliest creations of the maison. Particularly striking is the first look, a fitted Basque jacket with exaggerated arms in various Mikado silks, which was designed from vintage fabrics left over from Elsa’s work with Jean Cocteau in 1937.
The second part presents a dialogue between jewellery and the human body. Relationships between hard and soft, machine and human, metal and fabric are explored and displayed, with trompe l’oeil gilded brass jewel buttons in anatomical elements and bustier jewellery in epoxy gold and silver metals in the shapes of body parts.
The final part is a celebration of colour, with extravagant silhouettes inspired by the Renaissance. A long dress in black wool crepe with a trompe l’oeil mouth bustier in orange silk, a long bubble dress in mauve taffeta with balloon sleeves, and gilded brass earrings in the shape of a cross are formed by three teeth adorned with silver drops.
With this collection, Daniel Roseberry keeps the legacy of Schiaparelli’s individuality while pushing the boundaries of creativity, describing it as ‘a collection which honours the vision of Elsa, but is not in thrall to it’. Certainly, Schiaparelli’s legacy is clear not just in the first part of the collection, but even with the anatomical buttons, alluding to Elsa’s own creativity using peanuts, hammers, and other unexpected images for buttons in her own designs.
The season’s Ready-to-Wear collection is described as ‘a surrealism written with happiness’. The palette of the collection is centred around tones of black, white and navy blue; creating ‘uniforms’ for the modern woman who can decorate the pieces as much or as little as she desires. In this way, the pieces foster a freedom of expression for the woman that wears them.
The anatomical fascination is carried through from the Haute-Couture collection; Elsa saw anatomy not just as an inspiration, but as a playground, and this collection reflects that. A motif of the collection is the breast, with detailing on classic coats, shirts, and sweaters adding a contemporary twist to staples pieces. Whether through embroidery or metallic moulds, the theme of eccentric anatomy against classic silhouettes elevates the collection, creating harmony between the simple and the extravagant
‘The insistent boldness of the decorative elements is juxtaposed with understated elegance in classic pieces’
This theme continues with the launch of two new versions of the Elsa bag: one decorated with a metal mouth, and the other with symbolic jewellery pieces of the maison decorating the bag. Locks, teeth, and eyes; the jewellery for handbags allows greater individuality, again allowing the woman who carries it to create her own personalisations.
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