SCHIAPARELLI PRESENTS HAUTE COUTURE AW23
After last season, where the focus was on reducing each look to concise and sometimes arresting pieces, my instinct for this collection was to approach it differently. I wanted to create a collection that embarks on adventures, explores new territories, and dares to push boundaries. It needed to feel organic, sensual, and spontaneous. I discovered freedom in separates—a white shirt, perfectly tailored pants, voluminous puffer coats, and even simple knitwear essentials like cardigans and tube skirts. My intention was to craft an impossible wardrobe—not impossible because it’s unwearable, but because it embodies the extraordinary, a Surrealist interpretation of a woman’s essential closet. There’s a sense of liberation, of disobedience in these pieces. They allow a woman to assemble them however she pleases, evoking a feeling of transgression and spontaneity. I experienced the same sensation while creating them. Most of the looks you see here were put together in the days leading up to this show, rather than being meticulously planned over months. This approach felt like a revelation.
“Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house, a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you: build, therefore, your own world.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
The common thread that unites everything in this collection is Schiaparelli’s enduring connection to art and artists—their boldness, their use of color, and their creative process. Among all the fashion houses, Schiaparelli has always engaged in a conversation with art, where one form of art talks to and inspires another. In this collection, each piece has been somehow influenced by an artist—be it someone from Elsa’s time, the mid-century period, or even our own contemporary era. We hand-painted a woman’s body, taking inspiration from Lucian Freud’s brushwork, and then transferred that image onto a stretch silk body stocking, where each brushstroke was rendered in shimmering paillettes. The mirrored mosaic pieces of sculptor Jack Whitten gave birth to a broken-mirror stretch cardigan and skirt. An homage to Sarah Lucas is seen in a leather cigarette box trimming a ball gown skirt, while the deep blue pebble-like beads and powder adorning various surfaces pay tribute to Yves Klein and Miro’s illustrations for children. Throughout the collection, you will find nods to Dali, with surrealistic sunrises giving birth to vibrant color gradients, as well as references to Matisse in the form of palm fronds from the Hotel Regina, now reimagined in black long-haired shearling as a stunning faux-coat. Even a white marble Venus has found her way onto a winter white melton coat. The chaotic and dramatic brushwork seen on an oversized white laminated puffer coat is inspired by the walls of Lucian Freud’s London studio. This collection draws heavily from the agony and ecstasy of creation, yet it offers garments that a woman can cherish for a lifetime.
The theme of transgression and wit extends to this season’s accessories as well. Giacometti’s monumental sculptures are reinterpreted as delicate drops of stone-capped gold, laying the foundation for a new chapter in jewelry. The beloved moldings of Claude Lalanne serve as inspiration for massive brooches and cuffs, where I incorporated the faces of our artisans from the studio by casting leaves from my own house plants in metal. Wooden bijoux in the form of mountains make their debut in this collection. Burl wood hands, plaster white lobsters, and the Inauguration Dove—our symbol of hope—are dipped in gilded 24K gold leaf.