Since reviving the house of Schiaparelli, Marco Zanini has been spicing up the couture runways by bringing his wild interpretation of Elsa Schiaparelli’s quirky style, which was often influenced by surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti. One of Elsa “Schiap” Schiaparelli’s most famous designs was her 1969 white gown, featuring a giant red lobster on the skirt. What other maison might turn out a gown comprised of a squirrel and rat print, topped off with a fur bolero that looked like a longer version of these rodents’ natural coats? Who might spend a pretty penny having that gown custom-fitted to the body is anyone’s guess. Likewise, there was an oversized sky blue blazer with dramatic shoulders and embellishments and leopard sleeves worn with wine colored wide-leg pants and topped off with a birthday cone hat. Another fine, zany example: a tinsel-y cropped bolero with shoulders fit for a football player, but the creativity and sense of humor cannot go unappreciated.
What will likely garner customers to lure in business for the revived couture house: pieces like an aubergine long-sleeved, floor-length dress with sequined embellishments that looked like the kind of thing that the ultra glamorous Sheikha Mozah would want to wear. A Schiaparelli pink ’40s-style gown in lush velvet accented with flowers at the shoulder and hip and a gold and black striped sequined gown with a flared hemline and spaghetti straps looked like red carpet or gala fare. A black zoot suit might find its way into the closet of a statuesque power woman, while a caramel-colored silk top with an exaggerated bow at the shoulder paired with belted high-waisted wide leg cotton candy-colored pants would be just the thing for a modern Katharine Hepburn. But there’s no doubt that the Pepto pink ’30s or ’40s era belted coat dress with dramatic shoulders initialed “ES” on the shoulder in blue sequins simply stole the show.