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Paris haute couture week begins with aliens on the catwalk

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Credits: Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS24, Credit: Launchmetrics

In 1877, Giovanni Schiaparelli, director of Milan's Brera Observatory and uncle to famed designer Elsa Schiaparelli, made a groundbreaking discovery: the presence of vast channels on Mars, sparking the coining of the term "martian" and initiating humanity's enduring fascination with extraterrestrial beings.

Drawing inspiration from this historical connection, Daniel Roseberry, the creative director of Schiaparelli, presented his latest haute couture collection titled "Schiaparalian."

Transforming tech discards such as old phones and motherboards into a modern-day aesthetic, Roseberry's creation also pays homage to Elsa's fascination with astrology. During a preview, Roseberry revealed that the robot baby featured on the catwalk is an ode to the film "Alien," which starred Sigourney Weaver.

In a statement, Roseberry described the collection as an homage to legacy and avant-garde, juxtaposing the beautiful and the provocative, the earthbound and the heaven-sent. Embracing the idea that seemingly opposing elements can coalesce to form something new, the collection blends old-world techniques with contemporary shapes, patterns, and references.

Schiaparelli codes embedded like Easter eggs

The designs incorporate over-embroidered guipure laces, velvet and lace appliqués, and hand-cut and embroidered chenille fringe, alongside innovative elements like a motherboard-and-strasse microchip dress adorned with pre-2007 technological artifacts.

Throughout the collection, Roseberry integrates iconographies of his home state of Texas, reinterpreting classic elements such as bandanas and cowboy boots in haute couture form.

Elsa Schiaparelli's legacy is also honoured through subtle incorporations of her codes, such as the keyhole, measuring tape, and anatomical body parts. Embedded like Easter eggs in jewelry, shoes, clutches, and embroidery, these elements serve as a secret message from the house to the wearer.

While some designs exhibited challenging and outré volumes for the couture customer, others, such as a white petal embroidered dress with exaggerated shoulders or a voluminous pleated organza skirt paired with a nude moulded jersey corset, were stunning examples of artisanship that can only be found in the handwork of haute couture.

Credits: Schiaparelli Haute Couture SS24, Credit: Launchmetrics

The front row witnessed a familiar assembly of celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and Zendaya, sans the controversy of the previous season's faux lion head worn by Kylie Jenner.

As Schiaparelli continues to push boundaries and explore the intersection of tradition and innovation, Roseberry's collections stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of the house and its ability to captivate the attention of fashion’s elite.

Haute Couture