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Elsa Schiaparelli

Italian, French, 1890-1973

From her signature color Shocking Pink to her collaborations with Surrealist artists, the boldly original Elsa Schiaparelli transformed fashion with her haute couture house from the late 1920s to the early ’50s. Experimenting with elements like trompe l’oeil images and colorful visible zippers, the Italian designer instilled a provocative avant-garde artistry in her clothing and accessories, including those created with Salvador Dalí, such as the lobster dress and a hat shaped like a shoe.

Born in Rome, Schiaparelli was a rebellious child who grew up among the city’s intellectual elite. She had a voracious appetite for reading and became interested in ancient cultures, astronomy and world religions. Schiaparelli studied philosophy at the University of Rome, and after publishing a collection of poems on love and sensuality that so mortified her conservative parents that they tried, unsuccessfully, to confine her to a Swiss convent, she left for London.

A quick marriage to Count Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor brought her to New York, but it would be in Paris following her divorce that Schiaparelli embraced her artistic passions. She moved to the French capital city in 1922 with her young daughter and happened to meet master couturier Paul Poiret, who loaned the stylish Schiaparelli his clothes, sparking her own fashion interests.

Schiaparelli opened her modest atelier in Paris and debuted her first collection of knitwear in 1927, and later that year, she designed a black-and-white pullover hand-knit wool sweater featuring a trompe l’oeil bowknot that captured the attention of the fashion world. Vogue called it “an artistic masterpiece.” The success led to her moving her house to 21 Place Vendôme in 1935 where thousands of garments were produced each year.

Schiaparelli’s knitwear collections were later accompanied by revolutionary swimsuits and other clothing and accessories. Her inventive designs would include culottes — a radical statement in the 1930s when women still could cause a scandal by wearing pants — as well as printed fabric, such as the 1938 Tears dress with a print designed by Dalí making it appear as if the evening gown had been savagely ripped.

Schiaparelli was among the first designers to use materials like rayon and Lurex as well as explore wrap dresses and transparent raincoats. She also introduced unisex fragrances and brought her artistic partnerships into jewelry, such as bronze brooches made with Alberto Giacometti and fur-lined bracelets with Méret Oppenheim. As she wrote in her 1954 autobiography Shocking Life, women should “dare to be different.”

Despite her acclaim, her shop closed in 1954 after a tumultuous time during World War II. By then, fashion had moved on with Christian Dior's New Look, and the closure of Schiaparelli's business coincided with a comeback mounted by Coco Chanel, her archrival in the early days.

In 2006, Italian businessman Diego Della Valle acquired the brand and its archives, and the Maison Schiaparelli was reopened in 2012, back at 21 Place Vendôme where Schiaparelli's fearless and enduring work began.

Find vintage Elsa Schiaparelli hats, evening dresses and other clothing and accessories on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli
Schiaparelli for Hughes & Hatcher Red Patterned Wide Tie Necktie, 1960s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in San Francisco, CA
Schiaparelli 1970s tie in a beautiful red (the color of a fresh ripe cherry) black and white pattern created for the now defunct Michigan department store Hughes & Hatcher. Signed Sc...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Coat-Dress 1950s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Coat-Dress Vintage silk Elsa Schiaparelli coat-dress. The coat is made from textured silk trimmed with silver mink and has two side pockets. The co...
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1640s European Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli Paris 1950's Black Straw Hat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Sharon, CT
Elsa Schiaparelli Black Straw High Brimmed Hat, circled with white twisted cord and accented with a faux berry stickpin. Outside measure 8" diameter, 7"height, 7"inside
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Couture 1927-1933 ElsaSchiaparelliSigned Paris FurFeltSilk Grey AntiqueClocheHat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Chicago, IL
While sleek cloche hats were the rage in Art-Deco "flapper" fashion, this antique fur felt hat was designed by Parisian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and han...
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1920s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli 1950's Silk Flowers Hat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Sharon, CT
Elsa Schiaparelli Spring Hat with wreath of pastel silk flowers around the edge. Wrapped straw, silken floss flowers, hand sewn attached to netting frame. T...
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Surreal Shocking Pink Petit Coeur Guest Soaps
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli guest soaps shaped as bon bon hearts in a candy box, a salute to Schiaparelli's surrealist wit. 1950's USA. Excellent condition. L9", W 5" I gave to pink, the nerve of the red, a neon pink, an unreal pink, Shocking Pink" Yves Saint Laurent: Schiaparelli's pink was "an aggressive, brawling, warrior pink” Elsa Schiaparelli's "Shocking" Pink was a color which derived from a 17.27 carat rose colored Cartier diamond known as the Tete de Belier, belonging to her friend and client, Daisy Fellowes. Shocking Pink was used for the eponymous perfume "Shocking", which was launched in 1937. The packaging was designed by artist Leonor Fini and the bottle was based on Mae West's curvaceous figure. Her first shoe-hat, designed for her autumn 1937 collection, had a Shocking Pink heel. Salvador Dali loved the color so much he used it for one of his own works, “an enormous stuffed bear...
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Rare Surrealist Schiaparelli Figural Cat Lingerie Bag
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Rare and unusual figural Surrealist Elsa Schiaparelli lingerie bag. This amusing, rare Schiaparelli figural cat lingerie bag is made of bright pink acetate, with "Shocking" Pink ribbon accents and long pink raffia fringe. With a white plush snout and hand cut felt eyes eyebrows and mouth. Excellent Condition. Signed, Zipper Entry on back. Length 18" x Wide 9". 1950's. Schiaparelli, "I gave to pink, the nerve of the red, a neon pink, an unreal pink, Shocking Pink". Yves Saint Laurent: Schiaparelli's pink was "an aggressive, brawling, warrior pink” Elsa Schiaparelli's "Shocking" Pink was a color which derived from a 17.27 carat rose colored Cartier diamond known as the Tete de Belier, belonging to her friend and client, Daisy Fellowes. Shocking Pink was used for the eponymous perfume "Shocking", which was launched in 1937. The packaging was designed by artist Leonor Fini and the bottle was based on Mae West's curvaceous figure. Her first shoe-hat, designed for her autumn 1937 collection, had a Shocking Pink heel. Salvador Dali loved...
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Black chiné Elsa Schiaparelli 1940's skirt -suit
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Saint-Ouen-Sur-Seine, FR
Black with white chiné wool skirt-suit. Interesting collar effect like a tie. Black silk lining ( jacket only) with Schiaparelli's signature
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1940s Unknown Elsa Schiaparelli

Archival 1950's Elsa Schiaparelli Documented Sequin Blowfish Bamboo Cane Purse
By Elsa Schiaparelli, Schiaparelli
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
A highly coveted and incredibly unique Elsa Schiaparelli sequin blowfish cane purse dating back to the early 1950's. Fashioned from rich red vinyl bubble covered in black knit with s...
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Collectors Perfume Print Scarf
By Elsa Schiaparelli, Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli collector's perfume print scarf. Of silk crepe printed in various shades of blues with a pictoral catalogue of Schiaparelli perfume a...
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2010s Italian Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli Pair of Stockings and Its Original Box Circa 1958
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Toulon, FR
Circa 1958 United States Pair of stockings by Elsa Schiaparelli in original box, as new, collector's item dating from the late 1950s in the United States. Pair of brown nylon stockings...
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1950s American Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Gold Lace Jeweled T-Strap Kitten Heel Pumps, New in Box –6AA, 1960s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Tucson, AZ
Owned by a French expatriate and shoe-hoarder, these incomparable slingbacks were adored but have remained unworn in their original box for sixty years. Featuring a modest, wearable ...
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1960s French Elsa Schiaparelli

1950 Schiaparelli Black Horsehair Braided Dome Hat W/Bows
By Schiaparelli, Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Gresham, OR
1950 Schiaparelli hat is completely constructed of layers of black horsehair swirls of ribbon creating a dome-like design. This unusual domed hat is ...
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1950s American Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Tweed Classic Coat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Berlin, DE
Elsa Schiaparelli beautifully textured tweed coat with button front closure. Diagonally patch detailed waist and hem. Iconic contrast colours and patterns with ivory lining - Amazing...
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1960s French Elsa Schiaparelli

A Schiaparelli Printed Silk Blouse Dress Circa 2006-2012
By Elsa Schiaparelli, House of Schiaparelli
Located in Toulon, FR
Circa 2006-2012 Blouse dress with printed Schiaparelli logo and dating from the brand's Renaissance in the 2010s. Loose, straight dress with buttons at the front, long puffed sleeve...
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Early 2000s French Elsa Schiaparelli

An Elsa Schiaparelli Woolen Embroidered Couture Evening Coat - France Circa 1939
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Toulon, FR
Circa 1938/1940 Paris France An Elsa Schiaparelli (attributed to) long black woolen coat embroidered by the Maison Lesage with large baroque volute patter...
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1930s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli's "Sleeping de Schiaparelli" Perfume Sachets
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli's Mint in Box, "Sleeping" perfume sachets of "Sleeping Blue" satin, over stitched with Schiaparelli's signature "S". Still fragrant wrapped in the original unopened cellophane, tied with vibrant yellow ribbon. "Sleeping," is one of many perfumes Schiaparelli designed, debuted for her summer 1940 collection. For her spring 1939 Commedia dell' arte collection, Schiaparelli had been inspired by Man Ray's 1939 painting...
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1940s French Elsa Schiaparelli

SCHIAPARELLI Attributed Pink Silk Damask Couture Cocktail Dress Size 4
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This RARE Schiaparelli attributed cocktail or day dress is composed of a pink silk Damask, with a floral print. The Label is missing from this dress and apparently tradectly lost w...
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1950s American Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli's "Sleeping de Schiaparelli" Perfume Sachets
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli's Mint in Box, "Sleeping" perfume sachets (3) of "Sleeping Blue" satin, over stitched with Schiaparelli's signature "S". Still fragrant wrapped in the original unopened cellophane, tied with vibrant yellow ribbon. "Sleeping," is one of many perfumes Schiaparelli designed, debuted for her summer 1940 collection. For her spring 1939 Commedia dell' arte collection, Schiaparelli had been inspired by Man Ray's 1939 painting...
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1940s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa's Schiaparelli's 'Sleeping de Schiaparelli' Perfume Sachets
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli's Mint in Box, Sleeping perfume sachets.Of Sleeping blue silk satin, hand stiched with Schiaparelli's signature S. Still fragrent wrapped in the origional unopened celophane,tied with vibrant yellow ribbon. Excellent condition. "Sleeping," is one of many perfumes Schiaparelli designed, debuted for her summer 1940 collection. For her spring 1939 Commedia dell' arte collection, Schiaparelli had been inspired by Man Ray's 1939 painting...
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1940s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Haute Couture Black Changeant Faille Evening Jacket
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli Haute Couture Changeant Faille Jacket, 1938-39. "France gave me the inspiration: America gave me the approval" Elsa Schiapa...
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1940s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Extraordinary Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Evening Jacket
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
"In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous" Elsa Schiaparelli,1930's. "Life has changed so much, A Schiaparelli was never made for the streets." Karl Lagerfeld, 1970's. 2 quotes,2 designers, 4 decades apart. 4 decades later. Although these quotes are highly debatable, especially in the context of today's high-low designer collabs and pop up retailing, iconic fashion endures. Whether now relegated to a museum exhibition, a collector's acid free box or a celebrity one nighter, these fashion artifacts from the french Haute Couture of the 1930's echo a time, pace and culture unrecognizable to most people today. Schiaparelli changed the definition of what it meant to be a designer at an important time in the evolution of the Haute Couture. Rather than simply making beautifully elegant garments (which she also did), she focused on the concepts behind the pieces. For her fashion was a fluid medium and she effortlessly blended fashion, politics and the fine arts. She was one of the most innovative and rebellious designers of the period working against what she considered the stale fashion currents of the day. She was elegant yet untrained. As a protege of Poiret, she gained entry into the world of Parisian fashion. While her rival Chanel was essentially uneducated and a “primitive” in the artistic circles in which she socialized, Schiaparelli’s impeccable social credentials as the daughter of an old and distinguished Roman family gave her a relatively easy entree into Paris society. She was a subversive, a punk, a desecrator, a collaborator, an innovator as well as the ultimate insider whose plans on design domination and creating "la zone rose" for the modern world were cut short by the advent of WWII. She was at the height of her influence and power showing 4 iconic collections in the last years of the decade. Fascinating to consider what the House of Schiaparelli could have brought forth in the following decades had the world not been swept away in turmoil at that moment. In the context of her short prewar career, few remaining masterworks have survived. The rare "moment" she created in the 30's lives on within each art piece, safelocked away within each stitch and sequin. Each design retains her spirit and legacy as a free thinking, modernist rebel who used the avantegarde as her platform in the most creative period of fashion design in the 20th Century. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rare and Important Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture...
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1930s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Faux Bolero Gown
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Elsa Schiaparelli was well connected into the avant-garde artistic and intellectual circles of New York and Paris in the 1920s and 30s. She regarded fashion as art and thought of herself as an artist. She was the first and arguably the most influential designer to explore irony in dress, collaborating frequently with fellow Surrealists Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, and Man Ray. One is reminded of the famed Dali-Schiaparelli organdy Lobster dress...
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1940s French Elsa Schiaparelli

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Louis Vuitton Size 60 Black Leather Monogram Shadow Cap Baseball Hat 123lv19
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Men's Navy Silk Fish Hook Nautical Motif Necktie – Chicago, 1970s
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Chanel Red Gradient Carbon Fibre Surfboard
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Hermes Balcon Du Guadalquivir MugPorcelain Set of 2
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Hermes Rocabar Dog Collar Small Model w/ Leash New w/ Box
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This is a 1960s sublime animal print fur hat in the style of Elizabeth Taylor. The design is made from soft genuine fur showcasing the characte...
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Nicole Miller Limited Edition Men's Novelty Calculator Print Silk Neck Tie, 1990
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Rare 1990s NICOLE MILLER Limited Efition novelty calculator print silk necktie! Features various calculator styles printed throughout. Perfect conversat...
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Previously Available Items
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1960s Schiaparelli Black Wool Felt Cloche Hat w Huge Silk Bow At Front. A striking homage to the classic 1920s style this plush and furry cloche is as stunning today as ever with it...
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Elsa Schiaparelli 1950's Silk Flowers Hat
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli 1950s Vintage Ivory & Pink Peignoir Robe & Nightgown w Eyelet Lace
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This rare vintage Schiaparelli 2 piece peignoir set is in a light pink and ivory nylon chiffon that takes on an almost ombre effect. This 2 piece set has ...
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Vintage 1940's Schiaparelli Inspired 'Hands On' Silk Appliqué Lace Bra & Panties
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Words can not describe how sensational this rare early 1940's Schiaparelli inspired surrealist 'Hands On' lingerie set is! When it comes to incorporating hands into fashion, the pioneer was Elsa Schiaparelli and her legacy in fashion is impossible to ignore. Her 1934 collection showed belts made from hands, a handbag with hand fasteners, a jacket decorated with a hand motif. Her interest in trompe de l'oeil and the subjects of surrealism continued throughout her work until she closed her eponymous house in 1954. An exclusive by Salem Stores in New York, this gorgeous look was most likely a United States licensing deal. Schiaparelli’s creations showed a shift in the roles of women of the time and the social revolution that inspired it. Her pieces were considered similar to modern canvases and works of art and I can definitely see why. The seductive bra is made from a high-grade black lace over nude mesh with silk satin 'hands on' applique work. The same novelty hand is on the side of the matching high-waist panties! It is cut in that classic pin-up bombshell style- all curves and sexiness. For every woman, unique whimsical...
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1940s American Elsa Schiaparelli

1950s Elsa Schiaparelli Ribbed Wool and Leather Cloche
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This is a very unique hat from Elsa Schiaparelli, both in style and material. It is made of grey wool stitched raised ribbing, and black leather lacing end...
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1950s Italian Elsa Schiaparelli

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ELSA SCHIAPARELLI c.1930's Magenta Smocked Braided Trim Belted Dress Early Label
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ELSA SCHIAPARELLI c.1930's Magenta Purple Smocked Braided Trim Belted Dress - Early Label Circa: 1930's Label(s): Schiaparelli 4 Rue de la Paix Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli Style: Smo...
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1930s French Elsa Schiaparelli

1950s Elsa Schiaparelli Novelty Poodle Rhinestone Vintage Ivory 50s Cardigan
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1950s French Elsa Schiaparelli

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Elsa Schiaparelli fashion for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Elsa Schiaparelli fashion available on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of green, red, pink and other tones. Most of the items here were designed during the 20th Century, but you can find examples that were created as recently as the 21st Century and Contemporary. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Schiaparelli, Jacques Heim, and Pierre Cardin Paris appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Elsa Schiaparelli fashion from top boutiques around the world. Elsa Schiaparelli fashion prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $95 and tops out at $15,373, while the average work can sell for $600.
Questions About Elsa Schiaparelli
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Elsa Schiaparelli is an Italian-born fashion designer who was famous for her surrealist designs, which included outlandish accessories such as a purse shaped like a telephone. You can shop a selection of Elsa Schiapatelli pieces from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 27, 2024
    Elsa Schiaparelli is known for transforming fashion from the late 1920s to the early ’50s with her work as a designer. Experimenting with elements like trompe l’oeil images and colorful visible zippers, the Italian designer instilled a provocative avant-garde artistry in her clothing and accessories, including those created with Salvador Dalí, such as the lobster dress and a hat shaped like a shoe. She was especially famous for producing pieces in her signature color, Shocking Pink. Find a selection of Elsa Schiaparelli apparel and accessories on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Italian Elsa Schiaparelli moved to Paris, France and opened a fashion house that would become known the world over for her bold designs. Her haute couture often borrowed from Surrealism, she used overt sexuality and didn’t shy away from bold colors that most designers were not using at the time. Find vintage and contemporary Schiaparelli bags, clothing and accessories from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Elsa Schiaparelli dressed many notable people over the course of her career. In 1931, she created a divided skirt for tennis player Lili de Alvarez to wear for the Wimbledon tournament. She also produced the costumes worn by Zsa Zsa Gabor in the 1952 film Moulin Rouge and by Mae West in the 1937 film Every Day's a Holiday. On 1stDibs, find a range of Elsa Schiaparelli apparel and accessories.

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