Fashion Statement: Elsa Schiaparelli

“Of course we don’t want pants!” —French designer Elsa Schiaparelli, when asked on this day in 1933 if women were ready to adopt the new-fangled pants look. Schiaparelli was meeting with the New York Fashion Group, and conceded that—other than pants—women were ready for radical new and striking effects. She also advised that cotton had its place but never in the ballroom and that while sleeves should not be worn full at the elbow, ballooning at the wrist or the shoulder was OK. Shortly after this meeting, Schiaparelli changed her tune on the issue of pants: In the photo above from 1935 she is Read More »

Fashion Statement: Elsa Schiaparelli

“In difficult times fashion is always outrageous.” —designer Elsa Schiaparelli. On this day in 1934, Schiaparelli became the second fashion designer to land on the cover of Time magazine. Charles Frederick Worth was the first designer to win the honor in 1928, followed by Schiaparelli and then designers Sophie Gimbel (1947), Claire McCardell (1955), Christian Dior (1957), Rudi Gernreich (1967), Giorgio Armani (1982), Ralph Lauren (1986), Gianni Versace (1997) and Tom Ford (2008). To read more fabulous Fashion Statements, click here.

Chanel Rival, “Artist Who Makes Clothes,” Arrives in the New Yorker

It had been an interesting few years for Elsa Schiaparelli leading up to June 18, 1932, when an exhaustive profile of the Italian-born designer was published in the venerable pages of the New Yorker.

Just 10 years earlier, Schiaparelli, penniless and husbandless, picked up her young daughter and left their adopted home in the U.S. for Paris. After working a few odd jobs in the couture industry, she made a sketch of a sweater—a black knit pullover with a trompe-l’oeil white bow knitted around the collar—and hired an Armenian woman to knit it. The sweater appeared in the novice designer’s nascent collection in November of 1927, and promptly landed in the December issue of American Vogue. (Prior to any Read More »

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