The designer scored his second couture show with the theme from fave movie Jurassic Park, citing ‘a return to childlike innocence’ as the catalyst for his glittering AW22 collection
Since landing at Schiaparelli back in 2019, Daniel Roseberry has been crafting a extraordinary world of escapism and unbridled beauty at the house. Just last season, during February’s haute couture shows, the Texan double-denim aficionado made his runway debut, with critics falling over each other to brand it the standout show of the season. With Kanye and Julia Fox in the front row (the latter fresh from nabbing a pair of jeans from Roseberry’s own wardrobe), catwalk bathed in gorgeous Parisian winter light, the designer’s otherworldly cast blasted off for Planet Schiaparelli as glittering golden constellations and Saturn-like rings orbited around their bodies.
Fast forward to the AW22 couture shows, which kicked off in the French capital on Monday morning, and Roseberry had more uncharted territory on his mind – namely, that of Jurassic Park, and the lost world of dinosaurs. Yes, we called it: dinocore is having a moment, and now it’s spread to the uppermost echelons of fashion. While the newest Schiaparelli collection wasn’t directly inspired by the iconic Steven Spielberg movie, Roseberry revealed backstage he wanted to transport his audience through the power of fashion, and knew from the off he wanted the Jurassic Park score – along with immediately recognisable compositions from Star Wars and Indiana Jones – to soundtrack the show.
“My mom once asked me why I didn’t want to work for Walmart at Target, so I could reach more people with my clothes,” he explained in the scrum backstage. “But I told her: seeing clothes in Walmart and Target didn’t change me, or take my breath away. All of us who work in fashion know that the rest of the world thinks that what we do is silly. It’s a boring criticism, and we all argue otherwise, but if you think about it, fashion is silly at times. It’s also provocative, upending, challenging, and meaningful. It’s breathtaking. It’s beautiful.” The Jurassic Park theme, meanwhile, tapped into his desire for escape and a return to childlike wonder and innocence.
“It was one of my favourite, if not my favourite, movies growing up,” he recalled. “We talked a lot this season about going back to the place where you first fell in love with fashion, and for me that was a very innocent, romantic place, which is really what I, and I’m sure a lot of people are craving right now. Jurassic Park fills me with these feelings: growing up in the 90s, and just feeling less burdened by anything.” But what about the clothes? After getting his first, nerve-wracking runway show out of the way in February, Roseberry told us he just wanted to have fun with the collection this season – and, more so than ever, that came through.
Nipped-in jackets and moulded corsets exploded with technicolour exotic flowers, cinched velvet wiggle dresses were trimmed with swathes of diaphanous tulle and silk chiffon that spilled from hems and busts alike. Crystals were plentiful, with strands dripping across models bare chests and undulating like waves down their body as they swept the length of the catwalk, while snatched denim jackets that sat low enough to offer a flash of the breasts were matched with similarly skin-tight pencil skirts that were also crafted from clean, rigid indigo denim. Accoutrements unsurprisingly erred on the surreal side: golden snails latched onto lapels, intricate anatomic heart pendants hung from necks, and nipples came pierced with Mother-of-Pearl studs and gilded hoops (no commitment necessary, for the pain adverse out there).
One of the final looks came with a dramatic statement that Roseberry explained “Brought the house full circle”, as he sent a model down the runway with white peace dove perched on her finger. The inclusion of the tiny feathered bird – a motif often used by founder Elsa Schiaparelli – made reference to the brooch Lady Gaga wore when performing the American national anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021, which was one of the first mega high profile moments Roseberry’s creations for the house beamed into public consciousness. Given the current bleak state of affairs, it was a timely inclusion within the show. “It’s easy to be self serious,” noted the designer in his show notes, citing fashion as an industry with the propensity for being exactly that. “The more difficult path,” he added, “is remaining an engaged member of society while also, in one’s work, daring to return to the state of wonder and awe we all felt when we saw our first, transcendent show.” No doubt, in a few years time, there will be plenty of young people quickly offering up Roseberry’s name when it comes to their own experience of that.