Far-Eastern splendour & French playfulness Schiaparelli Couture Spring Summer 2017
Diala Aschkar, Art Director at Orient Palms, Paris, France & Lara Mekkawi

Far-Eastern splendour & French playfulness

Schiaparelli Couture Spring Summer 2017

Kimonos, lobsters, bird cages, key holes, octopi, and ultra-saturated colors... These are the makings of Bertrand Guyon for Schiaparelli Couture Spring Summer 2017 collection. As always, it is an homage to the original Elsa Schiaparelli as well as the surrealist artists that inspired the design house in the 1930s. With pieces reminding one of Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau, this collection provides a splendid mix of loud yet gentle designs. The sensuality and femininity found in the fabrics, colors, prints, patterns and textures enliven their perfect geometrical structure. Also, one cannot miss the Far-East influence on the collection, which compliments the French designs beautifully.

In the first piece below, the two sides of the geisha are represented through the “pierced heart” jacket in ivory, black, and red wool, complemented with an off-white wool romper that has black polka dots. The second piece pays a direct tribute to a previous look designed by Cocteau in 1937 for Schiaparelli; the black jumpsuit is matched with a block-wool jacket that features two profiles facing each other. In 1937, a coat with a similar concept was collaborated on by the two designers, creating the optical illusion of a vase of roses.

  • ‘Pierced heart’ jacket in ivory, black and red wool. ‘Heart’ romper in off-white wool. White silk organza camisole with black polka dots.
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  • Jacket and jumpsuit in black wool intarsiaed with face-to-face profiles.
    ©PixelFormula

The first outfit below presents an ivory double-faced cashmere cape with an Ursa Major intarsia. Underneath the cape is a white wool crepe dress with a thick red V-neck lining representative of a heart. Finally, the outfit is styled with a bird-cage necklace, an Elsa Schiaparelli inspired symbol. The whole outfit is crafted in a beautiful manner that reminds one of Piet Mondrian’s geometric shapes. In the second outfit, a flowy dress in a flashy fuchsia silk Chiffon is exhibited with a keyhole cut-out in the middle. Both outfits are complimented with cut-out heart-shaped boots.

  • Cape in ivory double-faced cashmere intarsiaed with a padlock, a sun and Ursa Major. Dress in white wool crepe intarsiaed with a heart.
    ©PixelFormula
  • Peony double-faced cashmere jacket with ‘padlock’ pockets embroidered with a jet beading and gold plate profile. Shocking pink silk chiffon ‘keyhole’ dress.
    ©PixelFormula

These next two dresses bring forth Salvatore Dalí’s contribution to this historic fashion house. In the first look, a nude silk crepe dress with lobster applique in vermillion, coral, and red is modeled. The lobster presents an aspect of playfulness on the romantic beige dress. In the second look, a midnight-silk Shantung tuxedo with a ruby-plate heart embroidery is shown.

  • Nude silk crepe dress with lobster appliqué in vermilion, coral and red.
    ©PixelFormula
  • Tuxedo in midnight silk shantung embroidered with a heart in ruby plate. 

    ©PixelFormula

The breathtaking fusion between Far-East and French styles is found in the kaleidoscopic kimono that is embellished with striped silk twill and decorated with long flowy, colorful ribbons. Beneath it is a strapless dress in flower-petal moulded silk organza gauze with an octopus applique. The playfulness of this outfit is exhibited in the wonderful use of color, cut-outs, and patchwork, where a classic white dress is given exuberance.

Kimono in flower-petal moulded silk organza gauze embellished with striped silk twill. Strapless dress in flower-petal moulded silk organza gauze.
©PixelFormula

The next two designs showcase Chinoiserie patchwork that represents a direct link to the Far East. The first dress, is a golden leather padlock tunic with silk Chiffon in Vermeil lamé. The black leather belt is embroidered with a gold and red dragon. In the second outfit, the Chinoiserie patchwork is prominent in the multi-colored tweed jacket and shorts. The thigh-high boots in both outfits are a strong primary color.

  • Golden leather ‘padlock’ tunic and silk chiffon in vermeil chiffon lamé.
    ©PixelFormula
  • Jacket and shorts in multi-coloured tweed. 

    ©PixelFormula

The liveliness of this white princess Gazar dress cannot be missed. Colorful child-like shapes, rich with various patterns are hand-painted on the silk drape like a sensuous Japanese etching. The black silk Chiffon dress is quite dazzling with its painted flowers and arabesques, and revealing V-neck. Again, the bird cage accessory is found in this outfit, placed front and center.

  • White silk gazar strapless dress patched with a child-like sketched landscape. 

    ©PixelFormula
  • Black silk chiffon dress painted with flowers and arabesques.
    ©PixelFormula

The following two dresses are made from black Chantilly lace. The first dress is revealing, carrying feminine sensuality in its refined embroideries. The lobster design is subdued, as it is embroidered under the lace cropped top in a gentle pink. Again, a decorative birdcage is added to the outfit. In the second dress, a retro graphical style is presented in the black Dévoré velvet dress with a painted sunset in silicon. The golden lines align throughout the dress as if they were the rays of the sun.

  • Dress and cropped top in golden and black Chantilly lace embroidered with a lobster.
    ©PixelFormula
  • Black dévoré velvet dress with a painted sunset.
    ©PixelFormula

The final two outfits carry elements of grandeur as well as femininity. In the first image, a sensational silk powder pink lamé dress is styled with a bronze Silk Brocade and Lampas jacket. The jacket’s patchwork is made on a loom fitted with a jacquard, with an intricate blue pearl pattern. In the second image, a varnished gold Chiffon lamé strapless dress is complimented, again, with a red belt. The flowy dress is matched with a smart silk jacket that is embroidered with a dragon and Tibetan tiger. It is evident in these two strong pieces how Far Eastern and French styles complement one another; as the jackets are designed in a Chinoiserie manner, the flowy dresses are symbolic of French Romanticism.

  • Jacket in bronze silk brocade and lampas. Pleated dress in powder pink lamé.
    ©PixelFormula
  • Embroidered dragon and Tibetan tiger silk jacket. Varnished gold chiffon lamé strapless dress.
    ©PixelFormula