Monday 25th January

| BY Paul Toner

Schiaparelli: Couture SS21

Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry has had one hell of a week. On the back of dressing Lady Gaga for the presidential inauguration last Wednesday, the designer unveiled his third collection for the house this morning – simultaneously redefining Haute Couture in the process.

“I wanted to challenge the idea of what Couture is, and should be,” said the designer, who was intent on “exploding the clichés” associated with the luxury art form without diminishing the house’s heritage or tarnishing Elsa Schiaparelli’s artistry.

The collection is littered with the sorts of garments that might evoke a few gasps from traditionalists when finding out they made it to a Couture line-up – most noticeably a pair of elasticated boxer shorts. Could you call it Couture for the couch? With no red carpets or opulent galas to attend, why not bring total fantasy to your work-from-home wardrobe?

Roseberry is quick to remind us that Mrs Schiaparelli herself was a total disrupter, and was actually the first Couturier to use synthetic fabrics. (She was also the first of her kind to use plastic zippers on her garments.) “Her ambition was to experiment, to be disobedient, in all things: fabrication, shape, colour, iconography,” says Roseberry, who was particularly inspired by the founder’s eye for embroidery this season – envisioning a basketweave wool cape embellished with an army of gold bugle beads that paid homage to a hooded veil Schiaparelli created in 1938.

Away from the realist approach to Couture comes moments of sheer hedonism. Chiselled, ab-tastic bodices – Kim Kardashian wore a green one last Boxing Day – come toe-to-toe with silk, corseted track tops with gigantic petal-like hoods and hot-pink evening gowns that hang not from the neck, but from earrings. (Let’s hope no one stands on the back of that train.) Accessories are just as wacky. Think boots with prominent gold toes, more gold, this time in the form of attachable fingers with giant, curling nails and earrings that look like, err, anal beads. There’s even a pair of sunglasses that you actually can’t see out of (and there’s already clients pre-ordering them).

“The word “magic” is often used when discussing couture. And it is magical. But behind the magic is a human hand and a human dedication,” says Roseberry. “This collection is a tribute to both the work behind the magic – and the magic itself.”

Photography courtesy of Schiaparelli.