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Elsa Schiaparelli

Italian, 1890-1973

From her signature color Shocking Pink to her collaborations with Surrealist artists, the boldly original Elsa Schiaparelli transformed fashion 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 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
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 stocki...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Rare Fuchsia Border with "Striped Circle" Center Silk Scarf
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli rare whimsical fuchsia borders with "Striped Circle" center silk scarf has hand-rolled edges. This silk scarf measures 24 inches by 24 inches. Made in Japan.Some e...
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1970s 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 Elsa Schiaparelli

Vintage 1950's Elsa Schiaparelli Documented Sequin Blowfish Bamboo Cane Purse
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
A gorgeous 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 serpent...
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1950s 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 ...
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1940s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Cherry Red Cat Eye Sunglasses With Floral Embellishment, 1950s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in San Francisco, CA
Elsa Schiaparelli 1950’s sunglasses in red featuring green and cream floral accents with tiny rhinestone centers. Full length across front is 5 1/2", total height is approximately 1...
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1950s 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 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 Elsa Schiaparelli

1950s Elsa Schiaparelli Fur Felt Hat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Port Hope, ON
Stylish and elegant cream color fur felt hat from designer Elsa Schiaparelly manufactured in Italy by Toscana. The details are superb and include beading. Details have been captured ...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

Museum Quality 1950s Schiaparelli Hat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Port Hope, ON
This rare 1950s Schiapearelli hat is made of satin with a textured floral pattern and bugle/jet beads. It has lining which allows the hat to keep its form and a stiff satin border/ba...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

An Elsa Shiaparelli Woolen Embroidered Couture Evening Coat 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 patterns from the shoulders to th...
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1930s Elsa Schiaparelli

SCHIAPARELLI FRANCE Black 1960's Baret With Rhinestone Trim
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Schiaparelli design is composed of a black fabric and features a rhinestone trim with two hat pins. Can be styled in a multitude of fashions, an amazing design. In excellent vin...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Rare Handmade Shocking Pink and Tomato Red Muffler
By House of Schiaparelli, Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Riverdale, NY
Schiaparelli overscale Shocking Pink And Red Mohair Muffler. Hand Knitted in oversized tubular mohair yarns with self fringed. 80" x 9" A rare example of Schiaparelli, turning an ...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

A Schiaparelli Printed Dress Circa 2006-2012
By House of Schiaparelli, Elsa 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 Elsa Schiaparelli

SCHIAPARELLI Black Persian Lamb Mink Fur Shrug - Jacket - 1960s Vintage
By Elsa Schiaparelli, House of Schiaparelli
Located in Wallkill, NY
Awesome vintage Jacket from the 1960s Elsa Schiaparelli Black Persian Lamb Jacket This is Fabulous! Coat came from a NYS Estate. Stunning Schiaparelli Persian Jacket with Jet Black M...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Surreal Shocking Pink Petit Coeur Guest Soaps
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Riverdale, 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 ne...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

1950 Schiaparelli Black Horsehair Braided Dome Hat W/Bows
By Schiaparelli, Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in San Francisco, CA
1950 Schiaparelli hat is completely constructed of layers of black horsehair swirls of ribbon creating a dome-like design. This unusual domed hat is meant to be worn at crown, over ...
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1950s 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 Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Multicolor Multi Stripe Silk Scarf
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
This rare Schiaparelli multi color silk scarf is detailed with multi stripes and finished with hand-rolled edges. This silk scarfs measures 28 inches by 28 1/2 inches. Made in ...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

1950's Schiaparelli Brown Overcoat
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Toronto, Ontario
1950’s brown Schiaparelli overcoat from her licensed label with front patch pockets and a sailor style collar. The slightly iridescent fabric gives off the perfect amount of sheen to...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli's "Sleeping de Schiaparelli" Perfume Sachets
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Riverdale, 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 cell...
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1940s 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'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 celop...
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1940s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Multi-Color Floral Silk Scarf
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in New York, NY
Schiaparelli silk scarf measures 15" x 43" with finished hand-rolled edges.
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1970s Elsa Schiaparelli

1960s Schiaparelli Straw Spring Hat With Wreath Of Silk Flowers Around Edge
By Schiaparelli Paris, Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in San Francisco, CA
A beautiful never-worn 1960s Elsa Schiaparelli spring hat of wrapped straw and silken floss, in shades of pale pink, with a heavy band of beautiful silk flowers at the edge. Still h...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Forest Leaf and Feather Hat. 1950's.
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in University City, MO
This is one of the most unusual 1950's Schiaparelli hats that I have ever seen. It reminds me of something from the play; "A Mid Summer Night's Dream". Green and red tinted forest ...
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1950s Elsa Schiaparelli

Vintage Schiaparelli Acid Green Pop Art Psychedelic Silk Foulard Scarf, 1960s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in Tucson, AZ
Apparently Elsa Schiaparelli enjoyed a psychedelic streak in addition to her penchant for Surrealism. This scarf--wearable in the hair, around the neck or shoulders, or even as a bel...
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1960s 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....
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1930s 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 her...
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1940s 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 Schiaparelli Chic faille Haute Couture evening...
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1940s Elsa Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Red Black and White Checked Wide Tie, 1960s
By Elsa Schiaparelli
Located in San Francisco, CA
Schiaparelli vintage 1960s red, white, and black checked woven tie. Embroidered poodle logo at bottom. Lined in gold 'Schiaparelli' signature print with poodle logo. Approximately ...
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1960s Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli fashion for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers an extraordinary range of authentic Elsa Schiaparelli fashion. 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 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 interested in this designer might also find the work of Barry Kieselstein-Cord, Giorgio di Sant' Angelo and Ted Lapidus appealing.. Find designer, vintage and haute couture Elsa Schiaparelli fashion from top boutiques around the world on 1stDibs. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $385 and tops out at $385, while the average work can sell for $385.

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