Since taking over as artistic director of Schiaparelli last year, Daniel Roseberry has scored some notable red carpet successes — not least dressing Beyoncé for the Golden Globes, where she stole the show despite skipping the red carpet.
After 10 years behind the scenes at Thom Browne, Roseberry is tackling eveningwear with obvious delight, showing a predilection for “grand flou” swirls of fabric that create a dramatic frame for the face. But after meeting with clients, he’s decided to beef up his daywear, conscious that most women juggle several selves.
“I want to be able to dress the executive in New York who’s on the board of some museum, and then be able to dress Beyoncé, Cardi, all those people, too,” Roseberry said during a preview.
The show reflected that duality. On the one hand were loosely draped silk dresses and slouchy tailoring, including a white pantsuit embroidered with earrings and pearls. On the other were gowns that ran the gamut from minimal — like Sarah Brannon’s black column dress with a flyaway neckline — to over-the-top.
Roseberry said he was inspired by old swimsuit shots of Elle MacPherson, the Australian model famously nicknamed The Body, for a series of clingy, multicolored gowns, including one with a pink skirt that was wider than an inflatable dinghy.
In his show notes, the designer described himself as “an observer of femalehood,” but it was hard to square that assertion with the idealized looks on display. Most women would want to know, for instance, how you put on the brown leather dress encased in gold metal hoops, let alone sit in it?
Ditto for the chandelier dress dripping with crystals. Can you even dry clean this stuff? It seemed churlish to raise such mundane concerns when the Surrealist embellishments, including nude opera gloves with brass skeleton embroideries, were so fantastic.
Yet most couture clients are not Beyoncé. A glance at the front row revealed women of all body shapes and cultures. Will they commit to Roseberry’s conceptual designs? Or will the boardroom end up winning the day?