the New Surrealism

I've mentioned Elsa Schiaparelli before here.... and my love for all things surrealistic has not waned over the years... i have always admired the innovative and ground-breaking art of Salvador Dali, Giacommeti, Rene Magritte, Andre Breton, just to name a few. The work and collaboration by Schiaparelli among these fine artists in the 1930s, when women in the arts was something still unheard of...., is still something that can stand on its own and serves as precedence for many designers that would follow in her footsteps.

Schiaparelli was a shy woman of few words and a notoriously low self-esteem. She was confident in her skills for design, but rarely had her photograph taken and hid herself away in the corner of her Parisian studio. Amidst the seemingly shy exterior, Schiaparelli produced shocking garments, in loud colors and with extravagant detail. Sometimes, it seems that larger than life characters such as Cher, Elton John and Cher would have easily been her patrons in the 1930s.  Schiaparelli's work is drastically contrasted when naming her colleagues/competitors of the time: Christian Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Poiret. All these designers were undoubtedly dressing the female form in their unique ways, but it seems that Schiaparelli's work in particular strayed away from the overt feminism or conformity that was highly accepted as the standard for beauty at the time.

Schiaparelli was inspired by the quirky and the idiosyncratic and pushed the boundaries of what a garment should "do" for a woman. Some of the designers that remind me most of Schiapiarelli's legacy and philosophy are: Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Rei Kawakubo, Frankie Morello and Kansai Yamamoto.

Japanese designers have been heralded as innovators in their own right since the 1980s and Kawakubo (of Commes des Garcons) and Kansai Yamamoto were strong frontrunners in the movement that brought Japanese design and fashion to the world. This continuing movement for the surrealist in the fashion world has not been lost.... Icons and patrons such as Lady Gaga and Roisin Murphy continue to wear avant-garde fashions in the everyday and shock the world. I wanted to just introduce you to JC de CASTELBAJAC (England) and Frankie Morello (Italy)

JC de CASTELBAJAC: Spring 2011
Frankie Morello: 
remind you of this: