Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Schiaparelli's Surrealist Summer in Paris

Inspired by a portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli with a cloche hat, Daniel Roseberry's new Spring/Summer 2022 collection is inspired by the Italian founder.
After just two years at the helm of Schiaparelli, Daniel Roseberry has made the storied French fashion house sought-after once again, with celebrities from Beyonce to Bella Hadid keen to wear his avant-garde creations. His gilded Surrealist bijoux including blue enamelled eyes, full golden lips and rippling resin torsos have also captured the popular imagination wearied by big-brand commercial luxury, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento

Surrealist blue denim with built in 
conical bustier after Gaultier's corsets
for Madonna
THE American designer Daniel Roseberry took the helm of Schiaparelli as creative director in April 2019, leaving New York to head the historic atelier at 21 Place Vendôme in Paris. 

Yet just two years later, his whimsy and belief in Elsa Schiaparelli's original avant-garde ethos, has not only captured the imagination of the fashion beau monde but also red-carpet stalwarts from Lady Gaga and Adele to Beyonce and Bella Hadid. 

Even rapper Cardi B wore a Schiaparelli gilded breastplate, a tweed coat and gold headpiece to stroll the streets of Paris during fashion week. 

This season, the prêt-à-porter collection includes jackets with golden nipples, inflatable coats with air valves and Dali's rib-cage gown reimagined as a knitted, white body-hugging dress. Beyond the beautiful tailoring, are the gilded, rippling breastplates worn like a vest underneath jackets and tops.

Schiaparelli has also just launched a shop in New York's Bergdorf Goodman department store which will allow the label's novel aesthetic to be more widely diffused. Roseberry believes the success of his Schiaparelli collections are due to the desire for more unique, personable designs that are quite different from the commercialized and conservative luxury of big-brand fashion houses. 

Daniel Roseberry's belief in Schiaparelli's avant-garde ethos has captured not only the imagination of the fashion beau monde but also red-carpet stalwarts

Go big or go home, Daniel
Roseberry's gilded bijoux with
eyes, lips and ears
 The designer has kept Elsa Schiaparelli's spirit of experimentalism alive. She began her career in an era bubbling with artistic revolution in the 1920s and 30s. She collaborated with groundbreaking artists including Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Rene Magritte and Alberto Giacometti.

Roseberry's new Schiaparelli collection brings the Surrealist motifs from his haute couture designs to ready-to-wear. The golden ears, enamelled blue eyes, gilded lips and noses embellish jewellery, leather bags as well as jackets and jeans. Even denim shirts have twirled cone-shaped bodices finished with a tassle. 

Called the Surrealist’s Holiday, Roseberry began designing this collection by imagining what Elsa Schiaparelli would wear as a Parisian working in the city and also what her holiday garb would entail. 

"I was thinking of the woman behind this Maison: Elsa Schiaparelli, who gave this house not only its name, but its identity," he explains. "The term 'psycho chic' may not have existed in Elsa's time ~ nor, admittedly, now  ~ and yet it’s how I always explain her and her vision to myself: this was a woman fascinated by the dawning of the technological age, of advances in fabric and engineering, of the avant-garde in film and art. 

"She was a patron of the arts, and an artist herself, but she was also a scientist of a kind, someone who celebrated innovation and progress: creative, social, cultural. And yet who was she at home, or on holiday? Who was she when she stepped off the stage, when she was alone, away from the glittering Parisian demi-monde?"

Elsa Schiaparelli was a patron of the arts, and an artist herself, but she was also like a scientist and she celebrated innovation of all kinds

A beautifully draped
Shocking Pink with swirls 
of fabric breasts
Daniel Roseberry envisioned dressing the urban Schiaparelli in Surrealist jewellery and beautifully-cut fabric bodices mixed with Seventies style French motifs using classic horse-bit closures for the hardware. He even includes a miniskirt and jacket in white denim finished with patent leather while floral prints are transformed into glimmering sequined pantsuits. Heavily embroidered with Schiap Hotel are long, luxuriously-thick bathrobes to loll about in at home.

The Texan's designs for what Elsa would would wear on her days off come with a dash of David Lynch: "These are not just holiday clothes for a physical destination, but for a state of mind as well," the designer says. "They’re pieces for a literal escape, but also an escape from reality, a wardrobe for a Lynchian landscape, where the imagination can roam without boundaries." 

He has also injected a note of fantasy into the new swimwear collection (a first for the label), with striped-knit bathing suits in hand-made cotton, fluid, black silk dresses, belted caftans made of tropical silk viscose and red-and-white stripes that evoke summer beach umbrellas on the Mediterranean coast. 

All the looks have updated accessories, including large matte-gold earrings and necklaces, snakeskin shoulder bags with umbrella stripes and another iteration of the 'Secret" bag with its signature padlock. 

"So who is City Elsa and Seaside Elsa?" asks Roseberry. "She’s refined but barbaric. Chic but a little vulgar. Conservative but uninhibited. Tailored but also relaxed. Private but also performative. These dualities were what made Elsa who she was. She’s irreducible, and because of that, inimitable." 

And one could say that of Daniel Roseberry himself as he remakes Schiaparelli, keeping Elsa's exuberant innovation while adapting her ideals to our own time.

Tap play to watch Daniel Roseberry shooting the new Schiaparelli collection in Paris

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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Photo Essay: Street Style at Paris Fashion Week

Italian fashion star Chiara Ferragni greets fans at the Dior SS22 pret-a-porter show in Paris, Cover picture and image above by Elli Ioannou for DAM Magazine

STREET style at Paris Fashion Week offers a panoply of people dressed in the elegant and the outrageous. After the limited seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a great sense of celebration and excitement during this last pitstop on the fashion month calendar. Dior was one of the most anticipated Spring/Summer 2022 shows, if not for the Sixties and Seventies inspired mini dresses, for the guests.

Hundreds of photographers, journalists and fashionistas ran squealing like teenagers at a rock concert, across the the vast gravel forecourt of the Dior marquee in the Jardin des Tuileries, to catch a glimpse of their favourite fashion stars.

Our special Paris correspondent and fashion features editor, Elli Ioannou, captured the sartorial delights worn by Italian entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni, British actor Rosamund Pike and American actors Rachel Zegler and Rachel Brosnahan, star of the The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, amid the street style oficiandos. ~ Jeanne-Marie Cilento


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Paris Fashion Week: Vibrant and Versatile Designs at Victoria/Tomas

The lively Victoria/Tomas runway show in Paris, with a model wearing a neon-hued jacket worn with a black shirt and long shorts that are all reversible. Cover picture and this image by Elli Ioanou for DAM Magazine

This Spring/Summer 2022 season at Paris Fashion Week, Chanel, Valentino, Dior, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton return to physical shows while many other brands remain digital due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Victoria/Tomas was one of the independent labels who had a full runway show to present their new reversible designs, aimed at making fashion more sustainable, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Ell Ioannou

At the finale of their show in Paris, 
designers Victoria Fejdman and 
Tomas Berzins take their bow
FRENCH designers Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins have made their latest collection about creating imaginative reversible pieces, following on from the last two seasons experimenting with this theme. The designs can be worn showing one set of colours and patterns and then when turned inside out there is another design and hue. You have two different outfits in the one creation. This is aimed at reducing the amount of clothes people buy and going towards lessening the fashion landfill. 

The duo also love mixing up art, design and music into their shows. This season, after a year's hiatus, they collaborated with Edward Crutchley. His work features in prints and on their crisply-designed leather accessories. While Cyril Lancelin created the towering, inflatable pyramid of fuchsia pink, forming the centrepiece of the runway. The show was held in Paris' 10th arrondissement at La Caserne, a complex for new fashion and design, to live music by French musician Lewis OfMan. It didn't rain and the sun shone as models criss-crossed the concrete of the open courtyard.

Against the subdued hues of the 19th century buildings, the rotund pink installation and the exuberant clothes made a dynamic contrast, The collection included neon separates with sharp tailoring, some finished with fluidly-flowing fringes. The vivid colours were combined with a subtle range of streetwear that was more low-key and comfortably slouchy. 

French designers Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins love mixing up art, design and music into their shows

A long, fringed reversible jacket
and pants in vivid hues
The designers like to collaborate with artists from different backgrounds. The inflatable pyramid at the heart of the catwalk was part of their inspiration for the collection. Cyril Lancelin wanted to highlight the name of the collection, Mirage. The artist also uses recycled materials which works with the ethos of Feldman and Berzins. 

The prints by Edward Crutchley have a Surrealist look and add to the artistic motifs of the collection, The designers wanted the sand, khaki and greige colors to suggest the calm of a desert which would then be enlivened by the clothes' fluorescent colours and the frenetic rhythm of Lewis Ofman's live performance. 

The collection was inspired by the optical phenomenon where light rays bend via refraction to produce a displaced image of distant objects, in fact, a mirage. Like the last two seasons, the collection is 100% reversible. And the designers wanted to make the collection all embracing, with short skirts for men and voluminous suits for women.

Highlights included the fringed, reversible jackets in brilliant hues like butter-yellow and burnt-orange, along with sporty miniskirts with zip fastenings and well-cut shirts with black on one side and a bright colour on the other. The shirtdresses were embellished with appliqué and looked easy to wear as well as having a loose and unique graphic style. 

Some of the well-designed leather cross-body bags were finished with pastel hues like a night sky, one colour merging with another, look particularly appealing. They should be best-sellers. The roomy trench coats in grey and beige have open shoulders, allowing them to also be worn sleeveless. Some of the suits were overlaid with tulle on the reverse, giving the utilitarian outfits a softer look. 

Like the last two seasons, the collection is 100% reversible. Customers get more wear out of their clothes and buy less of them 

Open shoulders, reversible colours
and long zips allow the wearer
to create different looks from
one outfit 
When Feldman and Berzins were developing their new reversible concept, they called it binôme, meaning in pairs. They also wanted all of their creations to be made in their atelier in Paris or at least in France. 

Berzins was initially concerned that there would a good side and another that wasn't so "cool". To get around this, they created one that was more pragmatic for day wear while the other would more glamorous for the evening. 

The French ready-to-wear brand was originally founded by Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins in 2012. They first met at fashion school in Paris. Berzins then went on to New York to work for Alexander Wang before coming back to France to launch Victoria/Tomas. This was only four years after they graduated from college.

Their aim was to create wearable separates for urban, city-dwelling people that need pieces that are both functional and have a sense of uniqueness and whimsy. While Berzins is inspired by the skater world and hip-hop, Feldman loves art and avant-garde fashion.  

The designers' collections are meant to evoke an art sensibility with dynamic forms and brilliant dashes of luminous colour. This venture with reversible designs is taking the label in another innovative direction, allowing their customers to get more wear out of their clothes and buy less of them. 

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