Elsa Schiaparelli designed costumes for much of Hollywood including actresses such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mae West, Katherine Hepburn, the duchess of Windsor was also a huge fan. Elsa was one of, if not the actual first, to use shoulder pads, colored zippers, back-less swim suits, turbans, the wedge shoe and buttons that looked like anything but a button.
In 1941 Elsa went to the United States to escape the war and when she returned to France in 1945 her popularity had seriously waned. Unwilling to curb her imagination for economical reasons she continued to design with all her usual flair and frivolities,but her post war designs didn't suit the times and by 1954 she had retired from being a fashion designer.
Ironically this was the very same year that Coco Chanel returned to Paris after being away for 15 years. They were rumored to be great enemies and it was said that Coco Chanel would not speak Elsa’s name and would only refer to her as “that Italian that made clothes”.
Schiaparelli’s designs were heavily influenced by artists in the dada and surrealist movements, particularly by Salvador Dali. While Chanel’s clothes were known for their simplicity, Schiaparelli’s were known for their daring.
Elsa Schiaparelli passed away in 1973 but her influences in fashion are still very obvious today, even if you didn't know it until now.
Add to your Schiaparelli collection with these RARE vintage panty girdle. Available at Sweet Cherry Vintage Lingerie:
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