Sunday, July 23, 2017

Schiaparelli Fall 2017 Couture

Behind every great woman is a group of equally incredible and inspiring women. For Elsa Schiaparelli her tribe was incredibly diverse and included the writer Ana├»s Nin, photographer Lee Miller and political activist Nancy Cunard. Very often creative directors use themes, an aesthetic, fabric swatches or reference popular culture when constructing a moodboard to help guide the tone and feel of a collection. However, Bertrand Guyon looked to those three women to inspire Schiaparelli many decades later. For Fall 2017 Guyon avoided perfect copies of Elsa’s friend’s wardrobes but was loosely inspired by their rich archive and imbued the couture collection with what was intended as an ode to independence and freedom. Guyon added, “I see their era as the beginning of the liberation of women.” The comment couldn’t come at a more pivotal moment, as the president of the United States signs away the reproductive rights of millions of women in third world countries and is further threatening to destabilise organisations such as Planned Parenthood. I suspect Guyon has totally missed and misunderstood the volatility of the political climate and its implications for women at large. 

Following the commercial success of avant-garde pieces from Guyon’s collection in January were nods to Picasso. The very Moschino-esque puzzle piece jacket was more loosely constructed than its Italian predecessor and a little easier on the eye. I’m slightly more inspired by the cubism jacket- and if I had more time and a decent second hand store to pilfer it would be at the top of my list to DIY. 

Pieces which underpinned this philosophy of female independence included the unstructured evening dresses, made from tulle and impossibly light and delicate. While they didn’t have the same madness and bravado as a Molly Goddard dress, the addition of crystals dotting the neckline to a pink silk chiffon number could easily be worn by an A-list celebrity for the red carpet. To match the dresses were a series of contrasting tulle elbow length gloves, capes swathed around the shoulder and the occasional long, thin scarves. As interesting as they were, the jewellery was undoubtedly the shining star of accessories. Cinching the waist of a strapless yellow gown was a strass brooch, and many looks were complemented by large chandelier earrings, mismatched and made from blown-glass. A sheer, long sleeve blouse embellished in sequins to create a series of necklaces and bangles, paired with a long pleated black chiffon skirt combined the best of glamorous clothes with show-stealing accessories. Speaking as someone who often neglects to remove her makeup in the evenings and can hardly be bothered with fiddly jewels, integrating clothing with accessories could be the most time-saving and ingenious invention of Fall 2017. 

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