Schiaparelli dress £3,900, earrings £1,200, necklace £1,900, bag £7,200 and boots £6,200 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
Schiaparelli: Born Again
In one of the most audacious acts of fashion reinvention, the house of Schiaparelli has been dusted down and reanimated for a new generation. Witness Lady Gaga at President Biden’s inauguration in her bulletproof couture gown; Bella Hadid wearing a pair of golden lungs over bare breasts on the Cannes red carpet; Adele playing her comeback concert in a black mermaid gown; and Kim Kardashian posing in a six-pack superhero bustier.
The man at the helm of this red-carpet revolution is Daniel Roseberry, a 36-year-old Texas-born designer who worked with Thom Browne before arriving at Schiaparelli just before the pandemic began. “When I started three years ago, people were not taking risks on the red carpet. It was really, really bland.”
Gwenola wears Schiaparelli jacket £4,000, trousers £1,200, earrings £1,200, bag £4,300 and shoes £3,500; Wolford stockings £40 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
“I wanted to redefine what modern glamour looks like, or challenge it and give it a little bit of oomph, you know? Give it some power”
Schiaparelli corset £4,300, trousers £1,800 and earrings £1,600 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
That he did, engineering a slew of viral red-carpet looks for some of the most recognisable women of the age – although the designer doesn’t use the term ‘celebrity clients’ for the likes of Cardi B, Adele or Beyoncé. “We call them global icons,” says Roseberry, “because that’s a different level than celebrity. They have gravitated towards us because the clothes can meet them or match them.”
The wit of Roseberry’s designs has given the house the kind of global acclaim it hasn’t enjoyed since its heyday. In the 1920s and ’30s, founder Elsa Schiaparelli caused a sensation with her devotion to shocking pink and her groundbreaking collaborations with surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau and Man Ray. She closed her couture house in 1954 – though continued to make perfumes – and died in 1973.
“Roseberry has supercharged Schiaparelli with his unique marriage of American pop culture and haute-couture craft”
In 2012, Diego Della Valle of the Tod’s group, which acquired the brand in 2006, quietly relaunched its fashion arm. And Roseberry, who has been its creative director since 2019, has supercharged the brand with his unique marriage of American pop culture and haute-couture craft. The two opposing traditions, he says, bring out the best in each other. “Take away the popness, and couture can feel really stale [but] take away the rigour and the heritage of couture, and Americana can feel sometimes superficial in the context of fashion. So I think that the couture gives it an incredible depth.”
The timing of Roseberry’s arrival certainly didn’t hinder his ascent. In fact, he believes Covid reset the culture in his favour, arguing that the public, starved of spectacle, was hungry for a new kind of glamour. Lady Gaga’s inauguration gown was, he says, “the first time many had seen a fashion moment – a gown – since lockdown. Bella [Hadid] was really the first red-carpet moment that had happened post-Covid. And Adele was the first live concert that had happened. So I think because Covid stripped everything away, we got to be part of the re-emergence of pop culture in a way that made everything feel so heightened and special”.
Schiaparelli coat £11,600, earrings £1,600 and bag £4,900 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
This unique set of circumstances allowed Schiaparelli to compete for eyeballs with billion-dollar brands. “We don’t pay people to wear the brand, we exist at the intersection between hyper-luxury and hyper-creativity. [That] is our sweet spot. That’s the card we have to play on,” says Roseberry.
Having established the brand on the red carpet, Roseberry is bringing all the quirk, cool and visual excitement of his Schiaparelli reboot to ready-to-wear, which is now exclusive to Harrods in the UK. If his couture revels in artistry and fantasy, then his RTW is grounded in wardrobe pieces that have a sense of drama. “It’s just about making things wearable and real, but strong at the same time,” says the designer. There’s nothing workaday about his clothes. Instead, they exude a kind of fabulous reality. For autumn, that includes classic pinstripe suiting embellished with playful swirls of embroidery, and perfectly cut little black corset dresses – but his soaring imagination and sense of craft (the clothes are lavished with handmade buttons and special embellishments) elevate the ready-to-wear to a different sphere.
“It’s still so luxury. We are working with the best mills, making the most exquisite things. Each button is basically crafted like a pair of earrings. It is so thrilling to be able to create clothes that are both that luxurious but also that relatable.” There’s a sporty pragmatism to many pieces. Roseberry’s curvaceous jackets are paired with cycling shorts, and some of the most desirable pieces come in denim, including a new version of the conical-breasted dress that Julia Fox famously wore to his January couture show. It’s all garnished with the kind of playful accessories that make people stop and stare. Alongside a spectacular pair of Edward Scissorhands-style gloves, there’s a moulded six-pack shopper bag, as well as top-handle bags and pouches embellished with golden noses or nipples.
Schiaparelli jacket £4,700, shirt £1,700, trousers £2,000 and earrings £1,400 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
Schiaparelli jacket £6,200, skirt £6,200 and earrings £1,200 – available in-store and through our Personal Shopping service. Coming soon.
Roseberry acknowledges the interest in archival pieces that has been sparked by a major retrospective of Elsa Schiaparelli’s work at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (running until January 2023), with trompe l’oeil bow knits (an idea Elsa explored in her debut 1927 collection) and a version of an embroidered coat from her famous 1938 Zodiaque collection (the original, which had pink pockets, sold at auction in Paris last year for more than half a million euros). Roseberry is intent on creating his own aesthetic, guided and inspired by the daring artistry and boldness that has always been at the heart of the house. “I come back to that idea of, what does Schiaparelli mean more than what does it literally look like,” he says, adding: “[Elsa Schiaparelli] was famously quoted as saying: ‘No-one knows how to pronounce Schiaparelli, but everyone knows what it means.’ I think that’s something. That’s the place that Schiaparelli occupies in the mind of someone who loves fashion.”
His own sense of dressing up was honed at church. His father was a minister and the idea of Sunday best is ingrained into his psyche. “I grew up going to church every weekend,” he says. “It was always a great inspiration: the music, the fragrance, the flowers, the song. The fact that men – in, basically, dresses – were walking around, it was like one elaborate drag show in a way. There’s something beautifully performative about it that really elevates the experience.” Fast forward to 2022 and anyone wishing to worship at the altar of high fashion can go to Schiaparelli. “I think it’s for people who really are in charge of their own image-making,” says Roseberry. All hail.
Schiaparelli is coming soon to Superbrands on the First Floor.
Exclusive to Harrods
- PhotographerValentin Hennequin
- Fashion EditorElizabeth Reynolds
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