Paris Fashion Week has returned and with it a slew of new breathtaking and impressive fashions from designers who have spent the last year working hard under quarantine. This year the Matador Couture Collection from Schiaparelli stood out among the others for its unique look, impeccable craftsmanship and nod to the brand’s artistic heritage.
Matador Couture Collection
The Matador Couture collection from Schiaparelli is a post surrealist homage to bullfighting and art. Toreador-inspired looks take on the form of outlandishly embellished bolero jackets, leather stirrup pants and stylized versions of Portuguese and Spanish Monteras (hats).
Twisted horns and roses made of both fabric and metal are used as embellishments (roses are traditionally thrown into bullfighting rings) and the billowing fabrics are reminiscent of Bullfighter capes and muletas, the stick with the attached red cloth used in the final third of a bullfight.
The legacy of Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1930s and ’40s collaborations with surrealists Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali can be seen throughout the collection. The Mini dress in wool crepe with black duchess satin insert embroidered in pink silk taffeta (shown below, right) references embroidery from the Schiaparelli archives, specifically seen on the art-deco evening coat from 1937 by Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau, shown on the left below:
Other references to Schiaparelli’s past collections include the Fashion House’s unparalleled embroidery techniques and attention to large statement jewelry. Bringing the collection into the 21st century is indicative by the use of modern and innovative materials like resin, vinyl, denim, leather and metallic lurex.
“For two years, I’ve been saying that I didn’t care about nostalgia. This season, though it’s where it all started. I found myself wondering again and again: What if you combined a little Manet; a little Lacroix; a little 1980s; a little 1880s; a little matador; a little space alien; a little Ingres; a little shimmer; a lot of color? Could I do it? And what would it look like? The answer is this, my fourth couture collection, “The Matador”: A collection that honors Elsa’s vision but isn’t in thrall to it,” explained Creative Director Daniel Roseberry
Like in much surrealist art, trompe l’oeil and body parts play a large role in the collection.The appearance of Salvador Dali’s iconic disembodied noses, ears and lips that embellish many of the pieces were 3D printed.
Faux breasts made of black resin, mirrored tiles and gold appear throughout, handbags are shaped like lips, earrings like ears or eyes and belt buckles like hands. Even the shoes -black satin platforms, pumps, and mules– have gold metal toes bearing silver nails.
Lastly, there’s the bride in a strapless wedding dress in ivory silk taffeta with exaggerated volume created from hand-crafted pleating.
The bustier is embroidered with rhinestones from pieces of hand-cut glass mirrors that are painted for an antique effect.