ELSA SCHIAPARELLI
THE ROMAN WHO WAS THE SENSATION OF PARIS THROUGH THE THIRTIES LOOKS FORWARD.

Byline: Angela Cuccio, April 1969

She was avant-garde in the doing then, an innovator in the field she came to without previous experience from an art background; an idea person whose ideas are still with us, the first fashion modern….
“This is a time of experiment,” she says. “The outcome is still up in the air. But I think the future is going to be for the wearable things and some stunts because we need stunts along with more simplification, and sometimes from stunts comes the real fashion.
“I believe that slacks are really the answer for 50 percent of the women. I believed in them when I was designing. I still like to wear them….
“They make so much noise about transparencies today. The new see-throughs are a disappointing thing, because they’re often exhibitionist, sometimes very coarse in the cabaret, the striptease style. Most men don’t like them.
“Just as this mania of the theatre to throw off clothes is a disappointing thing, because there are very few human beings that have that good a figure to go nude.
“Of course I did transparent things. But I never sent out a girl nude….
“I never thought of myself [as a creator],” she confides. “I never used the word creation for anything I did because I think it’s absolutely funny, too self-important to use in that connection. There are people who are more creative than others. But creator? The man who invented the telephone did a creation. The real invention was probably the atomic bomb. Certain things in science are a creation. The word creator is reserved to God+.
“I did things that amused me but the one rule was that they always had to be elegant, never fussy, never tacky and always the best quality possible.”

Madame Elsa Schiaparelli, Paris couturiere noted for her interpretation of sports costumes, arrived on board the Berengaria Saturday morning for a three-week visit to New York, during which she will stay at the Hotel Savoy-Plaza. Explaining that this is her first visit to America in a business capacity, Mme. Schiaparelli said she was very eager to observe the changes that have taken place since she was here six years ago.
Expressing her fashion convictions, Mme. Schiaparelli declares she intends to continue accenting the neat practical form of daytime costume. Fashion should progress, not recede, she declares, and in the silhouette which approves the normal waistline and skirts which cover the knees, there are many possibilities for new styling still to be evolved….
“Women should not be afraid of color,” she declares, adding that she intends to feature strongly the gay, bright hues.
— (From page one), November 1929

“Today’s fashion is a cruel fashion. When I was in the couture, there was something of everything, for all ages.”
— December 1966

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