Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

Before there was Jean-Paul Gaultier, before there was Alexander McQueen.......
there was Elsa. 
Elsa Schiaparelli, empress of Paris fashion. An empress who stayed true to her design aesthetic throughout her career.
A number of years ago now, I had the opportunity to see an exhibit of her work at the Brooklyn Museum. What a treat it was. The pictures I am sharing with you today come from the book that I bought at that exhibition. It's forwarded by Yves Saint Laurent, another fashion icon. The book is one that I highly recommend for your collection. If you are interested, you can find it here. The book is rather expensive, so I would recommend putting it in your Amazon wish list and coming back from time to time to see if someone has posted a less expensive copy.
One of her drawings,
and the final version. All of her designs had such whimsy.
Another drawing with line drawings of the dress that is underneath the jacket.
Close up detail of the jacket.
Another great jacket,
 with a close up.
She loved the unexpected use of fabrics combined with beading. I especially love her use of the stripe fabric.
Two little beaded sweaters.
A gorgeous beaded gown. Notice how the bead work accents the pleats just perfectly.
 Incredible bead detail.
I actually saw this dress in the exhibit. Trust me, the drawing is nothing like the dress. It was truly beautiful.
 Detail of the bead work.
Two whimsical gowns. Schiaparelli was highly influenced by artists. The gown on the left is a Dali inspired lobster and the gown on the right was influenced by the gay 90's artwork of Vertes.
For anyone who loves to bead, this is a wonderful picture depicting exactly what goes into a piece like this.
Whimsical hats.
This one would be a little difficult to drive in!!
Her inspiration for this hat came from a child's story, "there once was a woman who lived in a shoe." The story goes on to say that she had so many children that she did not know what to do. I don't think that is quite the story of the woman in this drawing!
 Influenced by all that was around her, soldiers from World War I.
Our final picture shows that what looks like a pocket is actually a bag hanging from her shoulder. Incredible work.
Elsa is a favorite of mine. I've enjoyed sharing a bit with you this morning.
Wishing you a wonderfully inspiring week.

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  1. Fabulous pictures. She is a favourite of mine, along with Claire McCardell. Ispirational indeed.

  2. I've loved Elsa Schiaparelli since I studied the history of fashion in my 20s. Thanks for this reminder of her beautiful work!

  3. I have that book too, it is fantastic eye candy. I didn't pay anywhere near what Amazon is
    asking. I didn't realize it was in such demand.

  4. I've heard of Elsa but didn't know what her design aesthetic was like. Thanks for the education and the eye candy!

  5. Oh thanks for these images, so gorgeous!

  6. The pictures you chose to illustrate Schiaparelli are wonderful.