ELSA SCHIAPARELLI (1890-1973)
'That Italian who makes clothes' her deadly rival Chanel called Elsa Schiaparelli. But the intellectual high priestess of 'Shocking' was far more than that; she was a conduit between the worlds of fashion and surrealist art in the l930's. Schiaparelli collaborated with artists such as Salvador Dali in a completely modern and very challenging way. They designed prints for her, made her elaborate buttons and never-equalled hats. Sensitive to the high-pitched hum of the Zeitgeist, the baroque-motif jacket in this sale (another version of which is owned by the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute) is inspired by the ironic baroque revival espoused as a reaction to modernism by mid l930's designers such as Emilio Terry and major clients such as Carlos de Bestegui. This jacket is one in a series featuring various baroque flourishes, another version of which was owned by the Duchess of Windsor.