That Moment When...

That Moment When...

Personally, I believe lobster is best served printed on a bed of white organdy, and prepared by Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali no less. 

Schiaparelli, inspired by Dali's Surrealist style, collaborated with him on several of her incredibly iconic designs, the most prominent being the lobster dress created for Schiaparelli's Summer 1937 Haute Couture collection. 

Worn by Wallis Simpson, the dress, made of silk organza and synthetic horse hair, depicts a large lobster surrounded by printed sprigs of parsley. Ms. Simpson wore the dress for a photo shoot with Cecil Beaton shortly before her marriage to King Edward VIII. The photographs were later published in Vogue where they caused a bit of a scandal due to the erotic placement of the lobster. 

Eighty years have passed since the lobster dress, and yet, it is striking at how relevant it still is. Particularly fitting would the lobster dress be in Alessandro Michele's maximalist Gucci world. A lobster would appear less shocking than the arrival of a Pumpkin Spice Latte in Fall, thrown in with the oversized snakes, tigers and bees that pop up frequently collection after collection at Gucci. 

 Gucci's 2018 Resort collection, which showed just two days ago in the Palatine gallery of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, made me wonder what a collaboration between Michele and Schiaparelli would produce. This collection and previous collections typically contain bows, elaborate head pieces and ironically literal plays on words and imagery, mirroring some of Schiaparelli's own designs. The major difference between these two designers is that Schiaparelli was not only a designer but a creator. The shoe hat, innovative use of the zipper, working with new materials from Colcombet, and the first to introduce themed collections are just some of the ways she left her mark on the industry. Presently, so many talented designers churn out collections season after season, but who are today's innovators? The structure of the fashion industry, like so many aspects of our world, is peering over the precipice of major change. It will be interesting to see what new ideas stem from those that take the jump.

Stay tuned. 

 

Fashion Since 1900 Second Edition by Valerie Mendes & Amy de la Haye

www.schiaparelli.com

www.vogue.com

www.philamuseum.org

 


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