Friday, 29 March 2013

Schiaparelli Butterflies, 1937

The butterfly has always been a symbol for change, and metamorphosis - something particularly poignant at Easter.  This portrait of Princess Margaret in Ballgown featuring butterflies was taken in August 1930, when she became the Countess of Snowdon - changing from a gangly young woman into a beautiful princess.

Princess Margaret, 1930

In the 1920's and 30's the butterfly was also the symbol of change, from ugly to beautiful, of the Surrealists.

Vogue cover 1920s with butterflies

Italian Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) was the most significant proponent of surrealism in fashion. She collaborated with many surrealist artists, but especially with Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Man Ray, and shared many Surrealist views with these artists.  She was well-known for her whimsical and surrealist designs especially for evening wear, dinner jackets and accessories including jewellery, hats and shoes. In Summer 1937 she presented the Metamorphose collection.

Evening dress by Elsa Schiaparelli , 1937

Like an ugly caterpillar metamorphosing into a beautiful butterfly, so Schiaparelli's designs could transform an ordinary woman into an extraordinary one.  Like herself  many of Schiaparelli's client's were striking and chic, but not considered beautiful compared to the ideal of the time. This evening dress design from the summer 1937 collection features a lively butterfly print on silk fabric printed exclusively for her.

Schiaparelli featured the butterfly print on other pieces in her summer collection as well, including parasols and her new waltz-length evening dresses.

Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli,1932
Perhaps the inspiration for this dress, worn by Paula Abdul in 2009. The Madame Butterfly dress is a silk chiffon hand pleated wrap dress in butterfly print by Lana Fuchs.

Paula Abdul in the Madame Butterfly Dress

Deb xxx

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are very important to me and I read each and every one of them! Please leave your blog address so I can visit.