This week I discovered a great new documentary series on ABC TV (Australia) called The Way We Wore.
It’s hosted by Celeste Barber, better known for her comedic takes on celebrity instagram posts, who discusses with many iconic Australian designers and fashion insiders all about the clothes we have chosen to wear over the past 100 or so years.
It’s a fascinating documentary that points out that what you wear is a political statement as well as a personal one. If you worry that caring out what you wear is shallow, watch this to discover just how impactful your outfits may be on both yourself and society.
You can catch it on ABC iview.
National Gallery of Victoria – Triennial Exhibition – Open until 7 April 2024
Daniel Roseberry for Maison Schiaparelli
As part of the 2023 NGV Triennial, French couture house Maison Schiaparelli presents a selection of eight dramatic and impeccably crafted garments designed by artistic director Daniel Roseberry. Drawn from recent couture collections, the works are displayed alongside an eye-catching selection of Schiaparelli surrealist jewellery and accessories.
Since his debut autumn-winter collection for Schiaparelli in July 2019, artistic director Daniel Roseberry has been at the forefront of contemporary fashion culture. The NGV Triennial presentation highlights Roseberry’s interest in pushing the boundaries of couture practice, his belief in fantasy and his view that art and fashion can question, shape and address the concerns of contemporary life. The works on display reflect the intersections between his contemporary vision for the Maison Schiaparelli and the design codes and legacy of founder and namesake Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973).
Highlights include Look 25, Nuage (cloud) dress from the Transformations autumn-winter 2019 collection. Meters of billowing and ballooning fabric defy physics to create a cloud-like illusion. Aided by an internal hand-forged metal structure, the material hovers above the wearer before morphing and torquing the body to from a minidress. For Roseberry, the collection was an exploration of ‘volume and freedom and [a] celebration of the body’.
For his third collection, Roseberry aimed to challenge popular ideas of what ‘couture is and should be’. Interrogating silhouettes, fabrics and embellishments, Roseberry embraced the unconventional by playing with exaggeration and the unexpected. Look 15, dress, also on display, references founder Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature colour – shocking pink – which she adopted from 1937. The work also pays homage to Schiaparelli’s embrace of the uncanny and surreal, with metres and metres of fabric seemingly suspended from large hoop earrings.
Look 6, Minidress and hat from The Matador collection, autumn-winter 2021–22, is a direct homage to an Art Deco evening coat from Autumn 1937 made by Elsa Schiaparelli. The original work features a double image on the back: one of two faces in profile, the other of a vase of roses. Executed in shell-pink silk applique, the roses are multiplied, extending across the upper bodice and cascading down the sleeves. To achieve this, Roseberry worked with long-standing French embroidery house Lesage, who made the original 1937 version.
The garments are presented alongside a gilded selection of costume jewellery and accessories, including the recognisable Bust bag from spring-summer 2021, with its moulded leather torso, as well Roseberry’s anatomical eyeglasses, finger pieces, earrings and breastplates.
The presentation sees the works enclosed within a celestial space immersing visitors through video projection and sound.
With her wild imagination and revolutionary approach to fashion, Elsa Schiaparelli instilled a unique creative spirit to 20th century design. Turning ordinary objects into some of the most memorable creations, Schiaparelli expressed her creative talents through fashion, fragrance, and what we refer to today as “merchandising,” blurring the boundaries between creative brilliance and commercial success and developing an innovative business model that is still used by most major fashion houses today.
Elsa Schiaparelli’s iconic collaborations with artists like Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Jean-Michel Franck, and Alberto Giacometti, among others, became legendary. Her legacy has consistently contributed to mainstream culture throughout the decades and continues to inspire people across creative industries and continents. A true artist herself, Schiaparelli is the creative force behind some of fashion’s most revolutionary shapes, techniques, and colours, redefining new standards of style and what beauty means. In 1940, she won the Neiman Marcus Awards for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion for her significant influence on the industry. In 2019, the house of Schiaparelli appointed American born designer Daniel Roseberry as Creative Director, based in the iconic Salons Schiaparelli at 21 place Vendome, Elsa’s home, and atelier.