Italian fashion brand SCHIAPARELLI presented the Spring Summer 2023 Haute Couture Collection with a show at at the Petit Palais opening the Paris Haute Couture Week. The Inferno collection was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, or better yet an allegory of doubt found inside of the book. This collection is Daniel Roseberry’s homage to doubt. The doubt of creation, and the doubt of intent. The twinned, sometimes contradictory impulses to please one’s audience and to impress oneself; the ambivalence that is every artist’s constant companion.
What appealed to me in the Inferno wasn’t just the theatrics of Dante’s creation—it was how perfect a metaphor it provided for the torment that every artist or creative person experiences when we sit before the screen or the sketchpad or the dress form, when we have that moment in which we’re shaken by what we don’t know. When I’m stuck, I often take some comfort in thinking of Elsa Schiaparelli: the codes she created, the risks she took, are now the stuff of history and legend, and yet she too must have been uncertain, even scared, when she was inventing them. Her fear enabled her bravery, which sounds counterintuitive but is key to the artistic process. Fear means you’re pushing yourself to make something shocking, something new. – from Schiaparelli
Elsa always promised surprise in her work, and over the years, people have learned to come to Schiaparelli in a spirit of wonder; you don’t know what you’re going to encounter here, but you know that the story will be different each time. This season, we concentrated less on deliberate artifice, such as our signature hyperstylized anatomy bijoux, and more on blurring the lines between the real and the unreal. Mimicry (is that a real lion?) becomes its own form of Surrealism in this collection, such that you’re never quite sure who made the piece you’re looking at—was it nature? Or was it man? Yet at the same time, we’ve prioritized and spotlit the artist’s hand more than ever before, in naif, rough-cut, earthy jewelry and hand-painted, gold-veined alligator “Secret” and “Face” handbags. If Dante learns how much life can deceive us, especially a life we think we know, then these clothes echo that deceit, reminding us of the necessity of occasionally finding ourselves somewhere we’re forced to re-see our assumptions. – Daniel Roseberry
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