Dali & Schiaparelli through Jan. 14, 2018 – presented in collaboration by The Dali Museum and Schiaparelli Paris – will feature haute couture gowns and accessories, jewelry, paintings, drawings, objects and photos, as well as new designs by Bertrand Guyon for Maison Schiaparelli. This will be the first exhibition dedicated to the creative relationship and works of Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali – friends and collaborators that set Paris and the world ablaze with their groundbreaking visions.
Elsa Schiaparelli was regarded as the most prominent figure in fashion between the two World Wars. Her designs deliberately subverted traditional notions of women’s roles and beauty, embracing and exaggerating the transgressive nature of fashion. Schiaparelli explored bold Surrealistic themes in her designs, heavily influenced by artists, especially Dali, with whom she often collaborated. The vibrant colors, experimental fabrics and elegant handmade decorations set her apart from other designers of the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the most notable clients for Schiaparelli’s haute couture designs included the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson; heiress Daisy Fellowes; and actresses Mae West and Marlene Dietrich.
Schiaparelli wrote that she “invented” her dresses, and the designs were known for their elegant and daring aesthetic combined with exquisite craftsmanship – a marriage of new ideas with traditional craft. Her designs were like the paintings of Dali in that they combined renaissance precision with wild imagination and dreamlike visions. Their fashion and art both delighted and shocked the senses and that approach was a trademark of their collaborations; their works embodied a sense of freedom and possibility that enlivened popular culture during a tumultuous time.