1 July 2013

It is such a good news for couture world! 

Christian Lacroix has revived the Italian seamstress symbol of Parisian fashion of the 30s, Elsa Schiaparelli, in 18 unique pieces (even though he sketched 99 pieces), presented as works of art in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. "Without Elsa, I would never have been designer," he says.


 Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

Christian Lacroix, who left the couture world 4 years ago, wanted to make this unique collection "a show." The visitor first enters a bamboo cage invaded by a cherry blossom. This is the same cage that was installed in the shop Schiap 'at 21 place Vendôme, Paris. It then falls on a merry mirror with a background in music carnival.
Elsa Schiaparelli, who died in 1973, loved the circus. Several wooden mannequins placed on the arena wearing pointed hats recalling this universe. The seamstress is everywhere, even if the symbols are discreet. No lobster dress, like the one on which was painted in 1937 by Salvador Dali: the crustacean appears on jewelry or hair matching the curve of the skull. One reminder of his bright fuchsia, shocking pink, in a fault or stole, which accompanies a black satin bustier and short pants. Eccentric hats reminiscent of surrealist influence on the seamstress. A zippered combination of red underlines that Schiaparelli was the first to use zippers for women. Several looks are great Basque pockets, recalling that during the war, the women put their prized possessions. For Christian Lacroix, Elsa Schiaparelli "gave an elegance to the war."
You have to admire the embroidery, emerald green turban, a black dress and pale pink stripes duchess satin with bustles, which required 40 yards of fabric and 300 hours of labor. When it comes to intricacy, Lacroix is one of few who are difficult to atop. An orange belt was made by the workshops of the extraordinary embroiderer Lesage, who was already working with the seamstress, from the original model. There is also a purple cashmere coat with a wide embroidered belt.
For Christian Lacroix, the collection is "a mixture of malice and melancholy." Asked what unites Elsa Schiaparelli, he replied: "the taste for black color embroidery." The association Lacroix-Schiap "self-evident" to Farida Khelfa, the ambassador of the house. Elsa Schiaparelli, according to her, "is the collective fashion consciousness".
An art director should be appointed and a collection should be submitted in January for the next couture fashion shows. Furthermore, an artist should pay tribute each year to the seamstress, like Mr. Lacroix. This collection will not be sold. "It gave me a lot of freedom," said the designer. "I always felt very free in sewing, it might be that my misery," he said, referring to the placement in receivership of his house in 2009. "This is a loop that loop," he further said. Well, when we talk about couture, it is difficult if you relate it to business in terms of selling the pieces. The couture collection is mostly aimed to build the image of the fashion house, and then all other lines such as ready to wear and accessories are derived from there.
The designer presented his last show at the Museum of Decorative Arts in 2009, which took place on 1 July. Does he think to be back in fashion, as many people pray for? "Not. What has always fascinated me in fashion, is the costume drama. My childhood dream, and I realize that now." He worked on the costumes of the Wagner opera, Lohengrin, which will be given in Graz, Austria after closing his couture curtains four years ago. But we can never say never. Even in Lacroix' case.

Signorefandi, viva Lacroix!