Vintage Schiaparelli Jewelry and Accessories

During the 1930s, Elsa Schiaparelli was the most popular and flamboyant fashion designer in Paris. Her best collections mocked the established code of beauty, featuring odd miniature hats, trompe l’oeil prints, or buttons formed like everyday objects. She dubbed her favorite hot-pink color “Shocking Pink” and aimed her signature looks at a younger American clientele.

Schiaparelli frequently adopted new materials to make her forward-thinking items, like the plastic necklace dotted with metal insects from her Pagan collection of 1938. She also collaborated with several artists, hiring them to help create original garments or accessories for her couture collections, such as the fur-covered metal bangles designed by Meret Oppenheim. Schiaparelli’s work with Salvador Dali resulted in some of the most avant-garde pieces of surrealist fashion, ranging from a compact shaped like a rotary-telephone dial to the infamous Lobster Dress, worn by Wallis Simpson in Vogue magazine.

During World War II, Schiaparelli relocated to New York, and took a break from designing in solidarity with occupied Paris; when she finally returned to Paris, fashion was moving on from her controversial style. Dior’s “New Look” made feminine clothing trendy again, and Schiaparelli lost her allure. Though her couture line was discontinued in 1954, Schiaparelli continued to allow her name to grace licensed products, particularly costume jewelry made by American companies.


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