The innovation of a top fashion designer
can greatly influence the public's taste
Elsa Schiaparelli was a French designer whose
ideas shocked the fashion world of the 1930s. Today she is mainly remembered
for making the padded shoulder popular and introducing to the
fashion world the colour 'shocking pink'.
Schiaparelli was Italian by birth, but attended
French, Swiss and English schools before working in the United States. In
1920 she went to Paris where she made friends with Salvador Dali,
Jean Cocteau and other surrealist artists who influenced the design
of the clothes she made for herself. As a result of wearing her own
striking black and white sweaters, Schiaparelli began receiving/getting
orders from an American store.
In 1929 the store's managers were so impressed
that they decided to set her up in business. Soon she was able
to expand into jewellery, perfume, cosmetics, lingerie and swimsuits and to
commission her artist friends to create further fashion ideas.
After the war, it was not clear what was going to
happen to the fashion industry. But by 1947 Schiaparelli and others had
re-established Paris as the heart of the fashion world. She continued to
spread the city's fashions across the world on a large commercial scale
until/till her death in 1973.