Surrealism Gets Real as Schiaparelli Launches Its First Ready-to-Wear Collection

Courtesy of Elsa Schiaparelli (2)

Aptly called Story 1, the Place Vendome couture house's first ready-to-wear and accessories collection is built around Elsa Schiaparelli's friendship and collaborations with Man Ray.

Elsa Schiaparelli had many stories. Her autobiography Shocking Life is testimony to that. It was only natural then, that the starting point for the newly resurrected couture house's first ready-to-wear collection would be aptly titled “Story 1” and based around the surrealist designer's friendship and collaboration with the artist Man Ray. His images became prints and photo transfers on the light and lively daywear collection, which should appeal to the already existing Hollywood fans of the house, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mandy Moore and Zendaya among them.

The new division was, in part, a reaction to clients’ needs and desires over the last five years. It offers a focused and concise wardrobe guaranteed to carry that same colorful and unique cache of the couture. The collection is currently for sale in the Place Vendome atelier and in limited quantities intended to create desire and sell-through according a company spokesperson.

One of the first to show a “themed” collection, Schiaparelli told stories through her clothing. In this story, designer Bertrand Guyon took the iconic Glass Tears image, which became a resin embroidery on T-shirts and sweatshirts to go with track pants and elastic-waist skirts suggesting an easy, throw-it-on-and-go urban vibe. Intarsia knit cashmere sweaters bearing a metronome or pair of spiral glasses, for example, have collector’s item written all over it.

The planets and light switch images are pumped up with a stardust motif on jacquard jackets and outerwear as well as pleated chiffon skirts and pussy blouses (a fantastic one in signature shocking pink stands out) for a dressy day or cocktail look when Couture isn’t in order.

But the RTW collection even allows for a make-it-my-own look with a group of black and white pieces — a jacket, long dress and cocktail-style jumpsuit — can be personalized with intricate beaded patches bearing the houses signature surrealist-inspired motif. (Think eye-balls, lips and locks).

The RTW intro is a big step for the small couture house. An indication that they are serious about growth albeit controlled growth, is the intro of the new and first day bag. The Secret of Schiaparelli bag features the Schiaparelli lock as hardware and comes in a variety of shapes, making yet another story for chez Schiaparelli.