This Schiaparelli Spiderweb Necklace Is Frightfully Alluring

It’s ideal for Halloween — or any festive occasion that calls for a dramatic statement.
Although from 2013, this necklace from the Maison Schiaparelli recalls the Surrealist creations of its namesake founder.

If there’s a glamorous party on your list of fall events, this necklace from the house of Schiaparelli might be the ideal accessory. Its arachnid vibes make it supremely suitable for spooky season, but “it wears all year long,” says Stacy Lauren Smith, owner of estate jeweler Stazia Loren, which specializes in vintage costume pieces and is offering the jewel on 1stDibs. “It is one of the most divine necklaces I have ever seen — so special, so well made — and it always provokes dialogue.”

Plus, the necklace is lightweight and versatile, so you can dress it up or down. Invited to a sophisticated Halloween party? Smith suggests combining it with “a strapless black gown or even a black skirt with a white shirt tied at the waist.”

Their intricate patterns have made spiderwebs a favorite fashion motif for decades. Although this jewel is from 2013, it aligns perfectly with the style of Elsa Schiaparelli, the house’s founding designer (consider her iconic Lobster dinner dress, a collaboration with Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí). “In the 1930s, Schiaparelli worked with the greatest minds of her time, including Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim and more,” Smith points out.

spider web necklace

Acquired from a Parisian dealer, the necklace is a bit of an outlier among the YSL, Chanel and Christian Dior designs that tend to dominate the collector’s market for vintage costume jewelry from the big fashion houses. “I have never seen anything like it,” says Smith.

The piece could possibly be the invention of Christian Lacroix, who designed a collection for Schiaparelli in 2013. Or it may just be the work of an anonymous talent in the jewelry department.

But who conceived it may matter little to those bewitched by the necklace’s intricate metalwork and diamanté stones clustered to create the effect of a spiderweb’s silk threads. And Schiaparelli will always be . . . Schiaparelli. “The things that Elsa Schiaparelli chose to design were so far ahead of their time,” says Smith. “Though this necklace comes many decades later, some people will ask, ‘What are you wearing?’ While others will instantly recognize it as Maison Schiaparelli. Anyone who knows just knows.”

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