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Elsa Schiaparelli’s Celestial Legacy Inspires Schiaparelli’s Avant-Garde Couture Collection

In 1877, Elsa Schiaparelli’s uncle, Giovanni Schiaparelli, the director of the Brera Observatory in Milan, made a groundbreaking discovery on Mars, unveiling a network of channels that sparked a fascination with extraterrestrial life. This cosmic connection has become an informal code for the Maison Schiaparelli, with Elsa’s own preoccupation with astrology inspiring the latest haute couture collection.

The collection serves as both an homage to Elsa’s cosmic obsession and a study in contradictions, blending the legacies of the past with avant-garde elements. Old-world techniques, including over-embroidered guipure laces and ancient embroidery techniques, intertwine with futuristic shapes and patterns. A motherboard and strasse microchip dress, encrusted with pre-2007 technological artifacts, pays tribute to the designer’s upbringing.

The runway showcases abstracted references to Texas, the designer’s home state, with hand-painted sequined bandanas, thigh-high fantasy cowboy boots, and iconic horse braid dressage knots reimagined as silk satin spikes. Schiaparelli’s famous codes, such as the keyhole and measuring tape, are embedded as Easter eggs in jewelry, shoes, clutches, and embroidery, creating a secret message for the wearer.

In a spectacular show of futuristic aesthetics and classic couture, Schiaparelli’s collection embraces surreal elements, including an electrode-encrusted baby and golden Voyager Golden Records-themed invitations. Designer Daniel Roseberry draws inspiration from the Maison’s cosmic legacy, infusing the runway with a blend of retro technology, sci-fi references, and nods to iconic designers.

The couture presentation celebrates handmade craftsmanship, paying homage to Cristóbal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. Among the standout pieces is a duchesse satin balloon dress designed with an eye on the awards season. As a final commentary on human creativity versus AI, Roseberry includes a seemingly ordinary outfit – a pencil threaded through the collar of a white shirt, emphasizing the timeless significance of artisanal craftsmanship in haute couture.

words: @annaamaso