Maison Schiaparelli: Shocking Jewels

Flamboyant, artistic, provocative, funny, "disobedient". New accomplices of seduction and daily companions of femininity, the spectacular jewels that accompanied Schiaparelli's new Haute Couture S/S 2020 collection

«It is my privilege to collaborate with the astonishing talents of the atelier and in the traditions of haute couture to carry the legend and myth of this storied house into the future» said Daniel Roseberry, on his debut as Schiaparelli’s new creative director. And his second Haute Couture S/S 2020 collection, presented in Paris last January 2020, strongly reaffirms this desire. As emerged from a dip in the historical archives of the maison, the Texan designer brings to light two themes very dear to the founder: surrealism and the power of seduction. These themes are masterfully expressed also and above all through the jewels that played a role as absolute protagonists in the fashion show, not only thanks to their spectacularity - we like to define them shocking as a tribute to the book "Shocking life" which tells the life of the great couturier -, but also because they express an innovative relationship with the body and clothes. «Bijoux that embellish not just ears, throats, and fingers, but everywhere. I wanted to pay tribute both to the Surrealists’ and Dadaists’ fixation on body parts — the eye, the back, the torso — as well as to Alberto Giacometti’s spindly forms, in which the human shape is reduced to a series of poetic lines. You can see allusions to his work in the sticklike brass bijoux, tributes to the human skeleton» said Roseberry. The result of a visionary creativity, particularly sensitive to the female world, the jewels designed by Daniel interact in an original and "brazen" way with the lines of the body and the clothes, through compositions that recall several of Elsa's most iconic creations. The Eye brooch, designed by Jean Cocteau for the maison in 1937, inspires the profiles of large chandelier earrings or eyeglass frames with an eccentric taste. The famous Skeleton dress, made in 1938, is reinterpreted in the form of bracelets that "climb" on the arms, or through precious embroideries that decorate all-over dresses. The most famous iconographic motifs of the maison are transformed into brass buttons and jewels with flickering features. The result is a fascinating aesthetic that interrupts the classic way of conceiving a jewel:  «In this collection, jewelry is disobedient: it affixes itself to forearms, to chests, to navels, to clavicles, to eyelashes, displacing space and volume. It’s a reminder that every part of a woman can be adorned, and also that adornment takes many forms, from pearls jammed into gold, diamond-crowned teeth and delicate wristbones fashioned out of thin rods of brass stitched to fragile tulle gloves and embroidery that sparkles across ribs and hipbones, a nod to Elsa’s groundbreaking 1938 silk crepe Skeleton Dress. Here, jewelry is not an accessory or an appendage, but an organ, as essential and vivid as a heart or a lung».

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