Here we are with one of the industry’s most surrealist couture collections ever, showcased by visionary Bertrand Guyon in Paris a few hours ago. Guyon’s Schiaparelli Couture spring/summer 2017 collection could be described as a perfect transposition of the surrealist movement to fashion, with artistic inspiration aplenty running through each one of the staples unveiled.
Surrealism aside, for this Schiaparelli Couture spring 2017 collection, Guyon surrounded himself with both pictures captured by iconic fashion photographer Guy Bourdin, whose visions about fashion, art and life were (of course) surreal, dreamy and at times even provocative, and with inspiration directly drawn from the house’s founder and all-time muse, Elsa Schiaparelli.
As we all know, whenever a creative director digs around the house’s archives, interpreting and filtering its classics through a more modern lens, chances are the overall collection either ends up being a huge success, or a miserable failure, with the latter being inevitably the worst thing that could possibly ever happen in a designer’s career.
Guyon’s take on Schiaparelli’s legacy, was, however, an extremely well-thought one, which gave him the possibility to keep a synergy not only between the past and the future of the fashion house, but also between more feminine and masculine-inspired staples, effortlessly combining surrealist references with Schiaparelli’s classics.
While most of the collection’s figures, silhouettes and colors were directly inspired by Surrealism and Elsa Schiaparelli, most of the details used were brought to life thanks to Chinese artist Ah Xian, whose famous Human – Lotus statue and Far East scenarios are vividly recalled in most of the line-up’s fashions.
According to the mansion, their spring couture creations explore the opulence and simplicity that always go hand in hand when it comes to a Schiaparelli design, putting the focus on sensuality and exuberance. One of the things that astound us most is that although being profoundly couture-esque in its nature, this collection is also pleasantly wearable, with its ultimate majesty being the direct result of such contrasting patterns.
Throughout the whole runway show, wearable (and covetable indeed!) evening proposals got interrupted by equally captivating day-to-day garments, the versatility of which was mostly celebrated by the abounding number of separates Guyon treated us to.
Sixties-inspired mini dresses paired with Seventies-infused jackets and thigh-high boots were the focal point of the daily looks of the collection, while imposing long dresses, palazzo pants and long gowns with plunging side slits were the sole protagonists when it came to the evening dresses. In between these two sections, Guyon served up surrealist combinations of ready-to-wear/haute couture hybrid outfits that can easily transition from day to night, as well as from formal to informal events, leaving us in awe of one of Schiaparelli’s most inspiring couture collections.
Photos courtesy of Vogue
Brands Schiaparelli and Julien Fournié have entered into an exclusive realm in the fashion world thanks to their new statuses as haute couture designers. These two brands are joining 15 couture houses, who have achieved status over the years; they are now up there with labels like Chanel and Dior, who have been there for quite some time, as well as others who have joined the circle more recently, like Alexis Mabille and Alexandre Vauthier.
The circle of couture fashion houses also includes seven members with correspondent status, with names like Azzedine Alaïa and Giorgio Armani in their ranks – there are 15 guest members stacked on top of the 15 already instated. Schiaparelli and Fournié both have rich histories in fashion as brands, and their respective couture work has influenced fashion in numerous ways over the years.
Schiaparelli, the eponymous label of Elsa Schiaparelli, was founded 90 years ago this year, back in 1927. This transition into the haute couture label is a long time coming for the designer brand; her fragrances were a large selling point to her brand’s growing fame back in the ‘30s, but it was her collaborations with the likes of Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau that really had her brand booming.
The fashion house was shuttered back in 1954, only to be reopened nearly 60 years later in 2013 by Diego Della Valle, an Italian entrepreneur. The brand’s current designer, Bertrand Guyon, has been in his position since 2015. Guyon will be showing his new line of couture work on January 23.
The label of Julien Fournié, on the other hand, was founded much more recently, in 2009. Fournié had previously served as creative director of Torrente, a couture fashion house based in Paris, where he worked with prestigious industry designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier.
As a designer, his couture creations have embodied so many trends from several eras, bringing together aspects from Victorian England and punk rock, leather gowns and neon colors. There’s no doubt he will bring it with his new status! Fournié will be showing one day later than Schiaparelli, with a scheduled runway set for January 24.
It’s an exciting prospect for one old-but-reborn and one relatively new fashion house to enter in the ranks with these elite credentials. As the fashion world and the realm of haute couture continues to expand and reshape as time goes on, we can look forward to seeing how it is reflected in the future brands and fashion houses who will join Schiaparelli and Fournié.
But for now, we can just look forward to the 23rd/24th of this month when we can see what we have in store for these two haute couture brands thanks to their new elite titles!
Photo courtesy of Livingly
Being Schiaparelli’s newly appointed creative director and having to create the fashion house’s couture collections doesn’t seem like an easy task at all. For the Schiaparelli Couture fall/winter 2016-17 collection, which is Bertrand Guyon’s third take on couture fashion since arriving at Schiaparelli in April last year, the designer tried something new, with both Elsa Schiaparelli’s and his own takes on fashion being at the core of the entire line-up.
To make things ‘easier’, he chose a motif that is a hard one to explore for sure, but would allow anyone’s creative stream of consciousness to run wild in the world of fashion: Elsa Schiaparelli’s Circus collection.
Born at the end of the Nineteenth century, Elsa Schiaparelli could be regarded as one of the most eclectic and whimsical minds of the fashion industry, with her signature surrealistic and outrageous take on fashion that is yet to be righteously outdone. Showcased in 1939, Elsa’s Circus collection is still remembered as one of the darkest and most evoking line-ups the designer has ever created, with trompe l’oeil sweaters and sinister patterns dominating the scene.
The collection surely had a strong impact on both fashion and society, and has it sort of responded to the unavoidable threats Europe (and the entire world) was about to experience.
In the same way, we could righteously assume Guyon is also trying to reveal something about his perception of a society that has never stopped being at war since the very beginning of the XXI century. He seems, however, also to be celebrating the same society, reminding us that there is always something good to be glad about in this world.
Although predominantly dark-toned, the collection alternates rich blacks with Schiaparelli vibrant pinks and golden cascades of fabrics, interrupting thus the Circus collection’s darker undertones with something more cheerful.
The cuts and lines intertwine similar motifs, at times bringing in opulent, exaggerated structured lines, and at times wrapping the bodies with modern goddess-like pieces that infuse the entire line-up with moments of pure femininity.
As the collection draws to a close, we see Guyon play more and more with pastel colors and even playful refinements, as if leaving a positive and encouraging message was all he wanted to do.
The Schiaparelli Couture fall 2016 line-up could, in fact, be divided into three main sections, with the first darker part and the last more delicate one undeniably being the ones where he dared the most. In the middle, between the most Schiaparelli-inspired section and the most Guyon-approved one, there’s an appealing array of pieces that combine both the designers’ signature motifs, with retro patterns coming paired with more modern cuts and youthful lines.
Whether Guyon will keep on drawing inspiration from Schiaparelli’s unique designs is unknown. What we do know for sure, however, is that as long as he keeps on infusing his collections with poetic and metaphorically surrealistic patterns, Elsa’s legacy is preserved for sure.
Photos courtesy of Vogue
All and sundry knows Salvador Dali to be the initiator of surrealism in painting, but not everyone knows who pioneered the surrealistic images like fruits, vegetables, animals or the household items to be printed on garment pieces. Italian noblewoman Elsa Schiaparelli once commenced that crazy surrealism in the fashion world originating the “shocking rose” shade, the Cocteau eye brooch, the idea that lobster + parsley wisp combination on a gown is some pumpkins up to seizing the queen’s attention and so on and so forth. And today in Paris the newly appointed creative director of the luxury fashion house Bertrand Guyon is going back to the roots of the house, touching all the tastes, preferences and niceties of its founder and bringing them into life via the newly unveiled Schiaparelli Couture spring/summer 2016 collection.
As the creative director of the fashion house himself states, the main thing that has aroused inspiration to present what he presented today in Paris during the runway show is the fragment about eating found in the autobiographical book of Elsa Schiaparelli “Shocking Life”: “Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy of life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great important to the morale”.
The result we see is a delicious dinner party starting from table-ware to appetizing food. The show opens with a floor-touching gown standing between very plain design in sense of tailoring but with very unusual one in sense of embellishing. The dress all covered with china plates, wineglasses and a bottle of wine is a nod that the feast has kicked off, open-heartedly declaring “Everyone at the table!”
The table is gradually being replenished with wisps of cherries when a white skirt suit is forwarded down the runway, with a plethora of vegetables like pumpkins, cabbages and onions when another white flaring skirt with a short-sleeved top appears; vegetables become even more when a floor-sweeping gown comes into view with multiple blue vegetable prints on it.
There is also that delicious lobster somewhere in the center of a top. “But the grandiose table needs to be decorated, dear servants!” The command is instantly run with a white skirt suit emblazoned with myriads of spring flowers. “What is for dessert?” A lot of citrus fruits to perk up the mood and sweet ice-cream which is melting, Chop-Chop!
The first part of the Schiaparelli Couture spring 2016 show mainly rendering knee-length skirts with matching tops and boxy jackets teamed with knee-high white boots is soon to be replaced with long gowns with somehow puffed ball bottoms that are at times matched with boxy jackets or else appearing alone. Some of the gowns made of fabric imitating creasy paper are presenting spider net prints stretching across the whole gowns. We are speechlessly amazed at the glimpse of those crocheted parts appearing here and there, but what has a power to be sponged in memories is that olive green crocheted long vest worn over the same shade chiffon frock making the model an amazing creature of deep forests.
The Schiaparelli Couture spring/summer 2016 collection is drawing down the curtain over food zone and is catering to us a range of chiffon diaphanous dresses showing off the body shadow only, with super-intricate layers, ruffled details and the illusion that we are all wrapped with ethereal smoke coming from Mrs. Schiaparelli’s living forever soul.
Photos courtesy of Vogue
Those ankle strapped heels! Honestly, that is the first thing we notice when we begin to peruse the Schiaparelli Couture fall/winter 2015-2016 collection that was newly presented on the Paris Couture Fashion Week. Actually, from the first piece we realized that we are looking at something incredibly beautiful here, a line-up of outfits that certainly fit all that couture is meant to be. There are the traditional embroidered elements combined with the modern trends that have been sweeping the fashion world for months now. Gauzy organza, plunging necklines, see through skirts, velvets and ankle cropped pants; it matters not which trend we are looking at, only that all that we see is so very fitting to the theme presented overall. It was the debut collection for Bertrand Guyon, of the house Elsa Schiaparelli. The velvets came out in abundance, from the reds to the blacks, the stars on the shoulders and plunging sweetheart necklines. Valentino was what trained him and now Guyon is ready to spread his wings and fly!
The Schiaparelli Couture fall 2015 collection has been called “Le Theatre d’Elsa” in remembrance of the days when the playful founder of the house was the darling of the fashion world, the collection bringing in references from the heyday of the house, with the longer lines and tailored designs. We have to admit, Guyon has done a rather magnificent job at it all.
We notice a trend with the fur in this collection, bringing in a rather intriguing oddity to the ensembles. There was a shocking pink mink sweater that the collection saw towards the end, with hearts carved into it. The old Hollywood glamour was captured significantly well, something we can certainly feel great about as we decide on the best look that suits our individual tastes. Throughout the collection we spy intriguing designs, from the ornate deep green satin suit with the golden embroidery that somehow is the modern version of olden livery, oversize biker jacket designs, along with a whole lot of organza decorated pieces to give it all a bit more of a vintage feel. There was even a boxy top cut from crocodile that truly had our gazes captured by its unique allure, while checked tweed pieces came in a fuzzy fabric that simply begged one to caress and stroke.
One of the biggest oddities was the woman’s face on the furry skirt, a midi look hat bulked up the body, particularly when paired with a loose sating sweater. Tweed tartan appears a few times over, a piece or two reminding us that the Scots are still very much alive, even if most have entered the 21st century with the rest of us. At the end of the day though, we are still very much in love with those shoes, the peep toes and the d’Orsay, the silver and the darker alternatives. Combined with shiny silver ankle cropped pants with a sheer blouse tucked into it, we have to admit this is one look that we are more than ready to wear out, instead of leaving it on the runway as a gorgeous outfit to simply look at.
Photos courtesy of Schiaparelli