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Paris Haute Couture Week Opens With Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli’s Autumn/Winter show, The Phoenix, kicked off Haute Couture Week in Paris today with a star-studded invite list channelling reinvention.  

The Phoenix 

Entitled The Phoenix, the Autumn/Winter 2024 Schiaparelli show references reinvention in fashion through rebirth. However, taking a step back in history is essential to understanding the enchanting story behind this collection. 

For the opening gala of the Ambassadeurs restaurant in Paris in the 1940s, Elsa Schiaparelli wore a gown painted by Dunand, paying homage to ballerina Anna Pavlova, who had passed that same year. Anna and Elisa shared a physical resemblance—short black hair and dark features—often being mistaken for one another. 

Anna was notably associated with her performance in “The Dying Swan,” and Schiaparelli was deemed a mythological phoenix, a magical creature characterized by its reinvention properties. As a phoenix, she could reinvent not only herself but also fashion. “The context of this collection, which honours Elsa’s singular gift for rebirth, is second only to its form,” shared Daniel Roseberry, the Creative Director at Schiaparelli.

Fashion and Emotion

The collection drew on clear origins, quickly demonstrating the process from sketch to study to fabric. The goal was to elicit emotional responses by illustrating each singular piece’s slow creative progression and development. “Each gown, each bustier, each shoe, every piece of folded velvet feather, or triple organza spike, seeks to catch the eye and hold it,” shared Roseberry. 

To bring this emotional concept to life, the show took place in the basement of Hotel Solomon de Rothschild. The interior was entirely black, from walls to carpet, allowing the clothes to be seen without distractions or obstructions. To amplify the sensuality and fantasy, Nina Simone’s tracks were some of the few musical elements backdropped against the couture. 

The Universe of Maison Schiaparelli

“People don’t buy Schiaparelli; they collect it,” shared Roseberry in the show notes. Roseberry indicated that an underlying tone of devotion fuels this relationship between client and creation, allowing a Schiaparelli universe to manifest artistically. Roseberry describes this as one in which women have the power to be reborn through experimental fashion repeatedly, similar to Elsa Schiaparelli’s fascination with reinvention. 

Opening the catwalk was a black velvet cape with a Phoenix-wing-shaped shoulder and 3D chrome trompe l’oeil feather embroidery, demonstrating the true essence of reincarnation and bestowing a phoenix-esque aura. Bustiers, capes, feathers, silk gowns, wings, and low necklines came together to illustrate the recurring ensembles and motifs that have become synonymous with Roseberry’s Schiaparelli.

Elsa Schiaparelli’s Legacy 

Known for blurring the lines between fashion and art and life and art, Elsa refrained from convention and ordinary. Some would describe her as elusive or scandalous, but Salvador Dalí put it perfectly. “No one knows how to say Schiaparelli, but everyone knows what it means,” and this quote still rings true today. 

Pulling from the house’s history of surrealist influence, these fantasy elements are still evident in Roseberry’s latest collection, which has exaggerated shapes, tailoring, and textures that create eye-catching silhouettes. 

Celebrity Attendance 

Front-row Schiaparelli outfits have the power to break the internet. Last year, Kylie Jenner’s controversial custom lion-head dress had everyone talking. This year, Jenner’s approach was more subdued, with an iridescent pink sequin dress coupled with a matching rose veil draping her face. These veils were equally seen on the models gracing the catwalk.

As suspected, Doja Cat also made her signature avant-garde reemergence with a voluminous blazer, and Kelly Rutherford was dressed in a creme-draped dress—easily making these three the house’s regular entourage.   

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