Outside The Lines

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Elsa Schiaparelli: Fashion Designer and Chanel’s Rival in the 1920s and ’30s

November 1, 2018 Jessica 0 Comments

There is something so admirable about people who truly march to the beat of their own drum. They don’t seem too swayed by anyone, no matter how influential. Individuals like this don’t live to make others happy — they are happy because they are true to themselves. Elsa Schiaparelli, an Italian artist and fashion designer who made major waves in the 1920s and 1930s, was such a person.

Elsa Schiaparelli: Chanel’s Rival

During her time, Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the most famous fashion designers in the world. In fact, she was Chanel’s most serious rival. Here are some other things you may not know about Elsa Schiaparelli:

  • She was born in 1890 in Rome
  • “Shocking pink” was her signature color
  • She brought the zipper into the fashion limelight

Schiaparelli was known for turning up her nose at the expectations of others. “While her contemporaries Gabrielle Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet set the period’s standards of taste and beauty in fashion design, Schiaparelli flouted convention in the pursuit of a more idiosyncratic style,” wrote a contributor to the Met Museum.

Schiaparelli Was Snubbed by Fashion Designers but Loved by Artists

Elsa Schiaparelli gown
Image via Flickr

Today, it is somewhat trendy to overthrow conventionality and create one-of-a-kind works of art. In Schiaparelli’s day, this wasn’t always the case, especially in the fashion industry. That’s why many other fashion gurus didn’t care for her.

The fashion world disliked Schiaparelli for the most part, but fellow artists and intellectuals felt the opposite. “Jean Cocteau attended her fashion shows. Salvador Dali created special items for her,” wrote a contributor to the article Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973).

The reason Schiaparelli was snubbed by fashion industry bigwigs was simple: she made fun of fashion. To some, this was practically blasphemy. “In Paris in the ’30s, Elsa Schiaparelli can be seen as a perky, colourful and irreverently entertaining feature of the fashion scene — the first couturier to make high fashion amusing by pointing out its funny side, stated Business of Fashion.

While she had her fair share of rivals, Chanel being one, she also had powerful allies who no doubt greatly encouraged her in her artistic journey.

What Elsa Schiaparelli and Sandro Botticelli Have in Common

The artwork and clothing of Elsa Schiaparelli were bold, courageous, and attention-grabbing — not unlike the work of Sandro Botticelli. Celebrate Italian artistry with the Sandro Botticelli SegPlay PC pattern set.

SegPlay PC is a digital paint-by-number game designed specifically for Windows PC. With it, you can download digital paint-by-number patterns, recreate famous works of art, and even print them off. Get a free 10-day trial of SegPlay PC here.

What do you know about Elsa Schiaparelli that other readers would like to learn? Share your thoughts with us in the section below.

Read More Segmation Blog Posts:

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#artist#Chanel#Elsa Schiaparelli#fashion designer#Italian artist#rival#Sandro Botticelli#Segmation#SegPlay PC
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