7 January 2015

Someone is playing it dangerously at Schiaparelli.

Marco Zanini backstage after Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014/15.
Photo by Kevin Tachman

Despite the absence of a creative director, and the lack of any clarity of possible replacement in near future, the House of Schiaparelli, which was resurrected three seasons ago (one one-time-only collection by the King of Couture Christian Lacroix, and two much applauded ones by Marco Zanini), will stage two shows during couture week on January 26, as the schedule issued by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture shows - one for the press at 10 am and then for buyers at 11am.

Null designer but double show?

As far as I noted, there are only two other houses which can get two slots on official calendar, which are two of the hottest tickets in couture, Chanel and Christian Dior. And both are equipped with full ripe team of artisans with several other ateliers involved, with many many years of experience. But how can a house which is just reincarnated in less than two year do that?

It then reminds me of the case in Valentino almost eight years ago. After Mr. Garavani resigned, the house appointed Alessandra Facchinetti as the creative director, and lasted, coincidentally, also for two seasons just like Mr. Zanini. Or at Dior, when John Galliano was dismissed at both Dior and his own namesake label, Bill Gaytten, the sword-hand man of the couturier took over the spot. And again, for just two seasons. But lucky for them, both Valentino and Dior had someone from inside who were long enough at the houses, therefore really got the spirit of the houses, who understood what the house stood for. And it was quick. No season passed by without an absense of designer. They worked with a team of the industry's best who have cherished them these long year.

In Schiaparelli's case, the house has no accessory line like Valentino, so they can not just pick some random guy at the house, and Mr. Zanini seems to have left the house without any trace of successor. And the team is hardly mature. A couture house rebuilt in less than two years is very young, moreover it's an influential one like Schiaparelli. In summary: no designer, no full-grown team, and no insiders to choose from. What a recipe.

So, one collection by a designer and then two collections of another, and then what, three seasons of the next one? I couldn't help but wonder. What does the management of the house want, juggling like that? Or maybe all of this is just a scam, so that we all keep talking?

This is why I am not really into this resurrection thing.

Signorfandi, too much paying tribute and digging out archives...