Elsa Schiaparelli was not afraid of shocking with her Surrealist fashion designs — after all, she used the word to christen her most famous perfume.
Daniel Roseberry, the designer who has spearheaded the revival of the historic French fashion house, has delivered some headline-making moments himself: think Kim Kardashian in her green leather six-pack corset, or Julia Fox in a cropped denim jacket with cone-shaped breasts.
His spring ready-to-wear line, titled “The Extra Ordinary,” felt positively sedate in comparison. Crisp designs, from chic black tailoring through to monochromatic eveningwear, acted as a canvas for his signature trompe-l’oeil embellishments and anatomical gold hardware.
“I feel like culture is going into that era like the ‘80s where things were getting shocking for the sake of being shocking,” Roseberry said on a walk-through of the collection in a showroom next to the house’s Place Vendôme headquarters. “Returning to this glamorous old Hollywood feeling is something that starts to feel really right.”
Surfing on the success of its retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which runs until Jan. 22, the brand is embarking on its next growth phase — hence the lineup of wardrobe staples, like suit jackets with padlock closures, or a ‘30s-style evening gown in ivory satin and black velvet that pooled into a train.
“The last three years have been about building the language, building the couture, building a reputation, and then the next three years, it’s going to be about building the business,” Roseberry explained.
A chic black cocktail dress came with a dusting of gold sequins outlining the body in thick brushstrokes, while denim pieces sparkled with gold buttons or embroidered details.
“I want to elevate the daily experience,” the designer said. “The silhouette sometimes can feel ordinary or familiar, but the execution and the fabrication feels extraordinary.”
Roseberry has been hanging out at the Paul Bert Serpette antiques market in Paris on weekends, and nodded to the costume jewelry of the ‘70s and ‘80s with chunky cuffs and chandelier earrings.
References to archival designs featured in the Arts Décoratifs show punctuated the display. The back of a white shirt was embroidered with gold sunlike rays, in reference to a veil that Schiaparelli designed in 1935, while a jacket embellished with a face was inspired by her collaboration with French artist Jean Cocteau.
It’s the kind of heritage that money can’t buy, and should give Schiaparelli a crucial edge as it seeks to reach a wider audience.