This July, maison Schiaparelli draws back the curtain once again as Christian Lacroix returns to couture, creating a one-off collection of fifteen pieces for the artistic fashion house – which might have the best view in Paris, overlooking the Place Vendôme. Ahead of the firebrand union, igniting the haute schedule we spoke to Lacroix, who, like Schiaparelli herself has a thing for shocking pink.
Dazed Digital: Lacroix and Schiaparelli are both celebrated as iconic couturiers. But what about Lacroix for Schiaparelli, can you tell us about how you begin to approach that? Is it intimidating – or instinctive?
Christian Lacroix: I don’t want to sound pretentious, but this seems natural to me, almost obvious. I do feel a link with her through many signs since I was a child. In my approach, I will for sure not do a caricature of her work, but will create a reflection about how the past and the future are connected in the present.
DD: Is it nourishing to be creating couture again?
Christian Lacroix: It’s all very natural. This kind of project that links history of costume and fashion really appeals to me. When I was young, I had planned on being a fashion museum curator… I became a stage designer after 25 years of couture!
DD: What from the Schiaparelli archive do you find most inspiring?
Christian Lacroix: Her modernity with a twist. I have adored Schiap since my childhood! I have always been very inspired by her work, mixing past and modernity, high and low, elegance and eccentricity. Schiap made clever clothes with a twist of spirit. Her heritage is much too often reduced and simplified with the surrealistic and caricatural side of her clothes. But she made practical and modern clothes that have inspired many couturiers.
DD: How does Schiaparelli contextualise itself in the digital age?
Christian Lacroix: In an era when everything is hyper-diffused and shared, so short-lived, we’ll need more and more “one of a kind” objects, contemporary concepts or projects deeply rooted in a timeless strong story, with a unique touch – and Schiap was a very special one – based on innovation, surrealism, inspiration; so different from the other couture houses of her time. The project is not to copy vintage clothes or being stuck in her past for the sake of being part of red carpet wars but keeping her spirit, which was very future minded and not nostalgic at all. Totally connected with the most whimsical, baroque or fancy style and allure of our time using her style in a contemporary way, which does not mean worldwide diffused or mainstream as too many supposedly luxury labels do but with the same individuality and sense of rarity. Her atypical and unusual touch as paradoxically as she and her work were.