“The Matador” is a collection that honors founder Elsa Schiaparelli's vision but isn't in thrall to it.

July 6, 2021

For the Schiaparelli Fall 2021 Haute Couture collection, Daniel Roseberry felt the freedom to make something fiercely, undeniably, unapologetically pretty—because sometimes you have to rebel against beauty in order to return to it.

“I wanted to honor the potential and power of the art form by returning to the fashion I loved in my youth,” said the designer.

This collection was conceived in three parts. The first paid tribute to Schiaparelli jackets of the past: you see references to the Maison’s earlier, iconic shapes in the white denim matador-inspired cropped jacket embellished with embroidered barrel sleeves and black silk tassels, worn over a structured tulle skirt. Roseberry saw them all as being in conversation with some of Elsa Schiaparelli’s most irreverent, imaginative creations from the late 30s, all recreated here by Lesage using many of the same techniques and materials.

The second part of the collection focused on the body and bijoux, a key element of the house’s visual vocabulary. Here you have dialogs between hard and soft, machine and human, metal and fabric. Also bijoux became embroidery: the nose, the stomach, endless pairs of lips and ceramic eyes, hand-patinaed in the house’s signature Giacometti-inspired gold, and set in rococo frames. The accessories included a minaudiere shaped like a giant pair of lips; a belt clasp with a cast hand that seemed to hug the wearer across her waist.

Finally, there was a celebration of color, a black stretch velvet dress, perfectly fitted, with a gigantic shocking-pink silk faille rose at its center; a silk velvet dress with soft, semi-conical breasts and, in the back, a crisp fan of Renaissance-blue peau de soie. Cornflower blues, salmony pinks, terracotta oranges were as flamboyant and joyous as the shapes themselves.


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