Textbook for Fashionista: Elsa Schiaparelli

Back in the day, there were two women designers causing quite a stir at about the same time. One of them, easily a household name, was Coco Chanel and I think we all know how that turned out. The other is slightly more elusive, but equally as important to the industry. Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli and to say she had a flare for the dramatic is most definitely an understatement. While Ms. Chanel was freeing women from antiquated silhouettes, Elsa was making us look at fashion with a different lens--a surreal lens. She's most known for teaming up with artists like Salvador Dalí: Consider it like the first version of the H&M collabs. Aside from rubbing elbows with some of the finest surrealists, she had a flair for innovation--to Elsa, a shoe could be a hat, a lobster was a perfect addition to a dress and a bow could be just as pretty if it were simply an illusion. So let's give it up for master of pattern, print and all things hot pink, Elsa Schiaparelli.
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Back in the day, there were two women designers causing quite a stir at about the same time. One of them, easily a household name, was Coco Chanel and I think we all know how that turned out. The other is slightly more elusive, but equally as important to the industry. Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli and to say she had a flare for the dramatic is most definitely an understatement. While Ms. Chanel was freeing women from antiquated silhouettes, Elsa was making us look at fashion with a different lens--a surreal lens. She's most known for teaming up with artists like Salvador Dalí: Consider it like the first version of the H&M collabs. Aside from rubbing elbows with some of the finest surrealists, she had a flair for innovation--to Elsa, a shoe could be a hat, a lobster was a perfect addition to a dress and a bow could be just as pretty if it were simply an illusion. So let's give it up for master of pattern, print and all things hot pink, Elsa Schiaparelli.
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Fans of the Tumblr blog Textbook, take note: Fashionista has teamed up with the blog’s mastermind, John Jannuzzi, to create storyboards for our industry’s style stars. (See an archive of his work for us here.)

Back in the day, there were two women designers causing quite a stir at about the same time. One of them, easily a household name, was Coco Chanel and I think we all know how that turned out. The other is slightly more elusive, but equally as important to the industry. Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli and to say she had a flare for the dramatic is most definitely an understatement. While Ms. Chanel was freeing women from antiquated silhouettes, Elsa was making us look at fashion with a different lens--a surreal lens. She's most known for teaming up with artists like Salvador Dalí: Consider it like the first version of the H&M collabs. Aside from rubbing elbows with some of the finest surrealists, she had a flair for innovation--to Elsa, a shoe could be a hat, a lobster was a perfect addition to a dress and a bow could be just as pretty if it were simply an illusion. So let's give it up for master of pattern, print and all things hot pink, Elsa Schiaparelli. 1. Grabbing some espresso with Dalí Jacket by Stella McCartney, dress by Erdem, shoes by Jonathan Saunders 2. There's something missing from this dress...ah! a lobster! Shirt and skirt combo by Jil Sander, shoes by Prada

3. Where's my shoe? I need a new hat to wear today. Dress by Jonathan Saunders, shoes by Rodarte

About The Writer John Jannuzzi began styling figures from history and literature on his blog Textbook in September 2009. He studied at Muhlenberg College and Parsons, The New School for Design and currently works at Lucky magazine in New York. He tweets like a crazy person.