Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW14

Lessons in the language of Schiaparelli, featuring surreal silhouettes, animal motifs and a couture party hat designed by cult collaborator Stephen Jones

Fashion Show
Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW14 Paris Susie Bubble
Lili Sumner (Next) at Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW14 Photography Jacques Habbah

Initial reaction:

The House of Schiaparelli is resetting and Marco Zanini’s primary task seems to be to school everyone on the language of Schiaparelli to bring the house back to public consciousness. Those in the know might have recognised all the traits – the whimsical animal motifs (fox-terriers, boxers and poodles featured in a print called Les Amis d’Elsa), the shocking pink, the penchant for lavish and witty embroideries and a sense of the surreal in silhouette as shoulders were peaked with furs and feathers. For a new generation, Schiaparelli is an enigma to be discovered. There’s still yet to be thematic cohesion as each ensemble came out with its standalone spirit, showcasing all the artisanal savoir-faire maisons (Hurel, Lemarie, Lesage and Vermont) to perfection. Then again, Schiaparelli never did collections by numbers and Zanini is echoing that unpredictability in his own interpretation of the house. 

The hats:

This was a millinery playground for key collaborator Stephen Jones to exercise his skills. Every model came hatted, be it with a feathered front comb, a crocheted beret, a turban or on the more dramatic end of the scale, an ostrich feathered headpiece, a conical party hat complete with streamer trimmings and a tulle veil with an ornate crystal ivy headband.  

Stand out pieces:

A heartbreaker black velvet dress embroidered with a sequined bleeding heart for those that are fans of Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo and Juliet iconography. It’s the party dress of your five year old dreams brought up to date with a pair of flat patent ankle boots. The finale bird printed gown took flight to Q Lazarus’s seminal track "Goodbye Horses" as it swept across the runway – short at the front, long and bustling at the back. Again worn with flat patent boots hinting at a new spirit at Schiaparelli. 

The soundtrack to Schiaparelli Haute Couture AW14:

Last season, Schiaparelli paid homage to the house's archive, referencing and reimagining collections past. See it below: 

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