Schiaparelli opens Paris couture week with defiantly golden surrealism from Daniel Roseberry
Fresh from dressing Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli for the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the house’s American-born couturier Daniel Roseberry unveiled a defiantly surreal collection for the storied maison on Monday, opening the haute couture season in Paris.
A season whose 28 shows and presentations will take place entirely online, so the week began with a show video of four models enjoying couture fittings inside the house’s Place de Vendôme headquarters.
“I want to make an alternative couture house,” explained Roseberry in his program notes. He certainly lived up to his ambition with this dramatic and fantastical Spring/ Summer 2021 collection of couture – the greatest laboratory of high-end fashion.
Take his beautiful Madonna who appeared in a golden zippered black sheath dress with attached golden metal halo, cradling a gold metal infant Jesus suckling on a single golden breast. While his blonde, Elsa Schiaparelli-lookalike emoted in a golden metal wig, and a divinely cut column, whose V-neck was trimmed in dense clusters of jewels and golden teeth.
Roseberry loves volume – in case you were on another planet, he attired Gaga in a 13-foot-wide red silk faille skirt for her rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner in Washington – and whipped up huge clouds and candy floss shapes of silk satin to swaddle his moody models.
Though this was also a boldly body-con concept collection: from the burnished leather mini sheathes laced at the side and cut with the torso of a pro bodybuilding champion; or her pink sequined party frock with the shoulders of an Olympic weightlifter. All the way to a metallic gold torso tank with diamond nipple rings; worn by a model in a golden metal mask. Everything donned with immense pride by the models in this video entitled 231 Seconds, for its length.
Beginning his lookbook and ending his video with the black carbon-like pneumatic drill tummy of a torso finished with a humungous silk bow in shocking pink.
“Here, the fantasy isn’t princess dresses or polite garments; here, the fantasy is within. These are clothes that make you aware of the fact of your body, that make you think about how you move through the world. Elsa Schiaparelli also made clothes that torqued the body, but her intentions were never macabre; instead, she encouraged a childlike, un-neurotic exploration of the human form. Hers were garments meant to celebrate the joy of peacocking, the joy of showing off,” argued Roseberry in his program.
A key element in the Schiaparelli DNA was always the Italian designer’s bizarrely sculptural jewelry, and Daniel had plenty of new ideas in that department. A key Schiaparelli signifier – the golden padlock – really got a work-over; blown up into a chunky minaudiere, or sewn onto multiple patch pockets of carpenter's pants.
Roseberry revamped Dr Marten-style bovver boots into thigh boots with three-inch thick platform soles and golden metal toes. Then had them worn underneath boxing shorts.
Plus his nine-inch earrings were something else – an extended golden finger reaching down to a tooth whose root was a black pearl. One chic witch even sprouted golden tentacles from her fingers, which pretended to scratch the camera. Earrings were also literally copies of ears, though made in gold and perforated the better to let diamanté bangles dangle from them.
This collection marks his third for the house, whose owner Italian fashion billionaire Diego della Valle has churned through several couturiers in recent years. The hyper inventive and unapologetic Roseberry, however, looks to have staying power. So, expect a long American residency in Place Vendôme.
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