Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Revival of Schiaparelli Fashion House?

According to Women's Wear Daily, there has been talk of a revival of the dormant French fashion house Schiaparelli.

Originally launched by Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1920s, the house gained fame with her trompe l'oeil sweater designs, her signature shade of shocking pink, and her collaborations with Surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau in the late 1930s (a subject on which I wrote my graduate thesis). After struggling through the austerity of the period following World War Two, Schiaparelli finally closed the house in 1954.

The faded Schiaparelli brand is currently owned by Tod's Diego Della Valle and is not scheduled for revival until 2010 at the earliest. Though some editor circles have suggested the possibility of a design role for Olivier Theyskens (who recently departed Nina Ricci), sources have refuted such rumours and Della Valle has denied carrying out a design search for the house. This news follows the rebirth in 2007 of a contemporary of Schiaparelli's, the fabled French house of Madeleine Vionnet. The Parisian house of Rochas is another story of revivals—the fashion side was relaunched to great acclaim in 2002 with Theyskens at the helm, only to close due to financial woes in 2006, and then revived again in 2009 with creative director Marco Zanini.

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