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Schiaparelli SPRING 2024 COUTURE

In 1877, Elsa Schiaparelli’s uncle Giovanni Schiaparelli, the director of the Brera Observatory in Milan, discovered something new: a series of channels, an area as large as the Grand Canyon, scoring the surface of Mars. He also coined the term “martian”, and inadvertently began our modern fascination with creatures from out there, a fascination that continues to this day.

So it makes sense that space has always been an informal code of the Maison. Elsa was, famously, preoccupied with astrology, and why not? Looking to the stars was clearly a family pastime.

This collection is an homage to that obsession, as well as a study in contradictions — of legacy and the avant-garde, of the beautiful and the provocative, of the earthbound and the heaven-sent. But as art (and nature) teaches us again and again, the things and ideas that seem diametrically opposed to each other can also combine to make startling chimeras, objects composed of familiar parts that, when united, create something unexpected and new.

It is, in fact, one of the Maison’s guiding philosophies: Elsa was committed to unlikely marriages win her own design, and the looks in this collection honor that tradition, combining old world techniques (such as over-embroidered guipure laces, velvet and lace appliqués, and hand cut and embroidered chenille fringe) with new world shapes, patterns, and references (such as a motherboard-and-strasse microchip dress encrusted with pre-2007 technological artifacts — now, the technology I grew up with is so antiquated that it’s almost as difficult to source as certain vintage fabrics and embellishments).

They also unite her personal references with my own: you’ll see abstracted references to iconographies of my home state of Texas throughout, from the bandana, here remade in hand-painted paillettes; to the cowboy boot, reconceived as a thigh-high fantasy bristling with buckles; to the iconic horse braid dressage knots redone as silk satin spikes and smothering a camel suede bomber jacket and a white denim corset suit. Elsa was famous for her codes — the keyhole, the measuring tape, anatomical body parts — and we’ve embedded them like Easter eggs in jewelry, shoes, clutches, and embroidery, a secret message from us to the woman who wears them.

The result are a series of profiles both familiar and not — part human, part something else. And, therefore, totally Schiaparelli.

The crystal-covered embroidery, the surreal anatomy, the silk satin dressage spikes, the thigh-high cowboy boots bristling with buckles, the bandana with handpainted paillettes — swipe through to see the Haute Couture SS24 details by Daniel Roseberry.

Maggie Maurer, nestling a robot baby on her hip, was wearing a white singlet and conceptual couture cargo pants—Roseberry’s tribute to Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. “I’ve watched the Alien series, like, six times,” he said.

His robot-woman dress and the baby were glittering constructs of nostalgic tech elements like defunct electronic motherboards, CDs, flip phones, mirrors, and gems—“all things that I grew up with that now seem as antiquated as Charles James!” the designer said.

Haute couture is the last handmade bastion of fashion that still exists, the place where extreme fantasies can manifest because of human skills. Roseberry leaned strongly into that.



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