BERENSON ON SCHIAPARELLI: With the Costume Institute’s “Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion” exhibition opening in May, V magazine enlisted Schiaparelli’s granddaughter, Marisa Berenson, to pen a lengthy remembrance of the designer. “She hated to be called grandmother. She never wanted anybody to call her Elsa, because she didn’t like her name, so her friends called her Schiap, and my sister and I did too,” writes Berenson in the new issue, on newsstands today. “My grandmother was much more an artist than a designer. Coco Chanel was a dressmaker and was jealous of her.”
Berenson — star of Seventies films like “Death in Venice,” “Cabaret” and “Barry Lyndon” — remembers being tucked into bed by the Duke of Windsor as a child when he came to her grandmother’s storied parties. “It was very cute,” she recalls. Schiaparelli was always envious of her sister’s beauty, which drove her will to succeed, adds Berenson. “Schiap was not easy on herself or on others. People either absolutely adored her or were a bit afraid of her.”
This story first appeared in the March 1, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.