As a girl, Elsa Schiaparelli dreamed of having a “face covered with flowers.” So she implanted seeds in her nose, throat and ears. And she waited. Her mother intervened before any daisies, nasturtiums or morning glories could sprout, but Schiaparelli’s fashion imagination had germinated. It wasn’t long before her sharp, surreal vision came to define the “hard chic” style of the 1930s. See how much you know about this style iconoclast.
Questions by Lisa Santandrea. Santandrea is a New York City–based writer who teaches fashion history at Parsons School of Design. Background image: Elsa Schiaparelli, New York, 1936, by Horst P. Horst