At the start of the first full day of the spring/summer 2015 haute couture, the Schiaparelli couture house faced the challenge of producing a collection without a designer.
In an interesting twist, which echoed the well-received one-off collection the house commissioned Christian Lacoix to create two years ago, the brand reached out to Jean-Paul Goude to shore up the show. While Goude's all black singers, wearing top knots — now made famous to a whole new generation thanks to Kim Kardashian's recent nude cover of Paper magazine — mouthed the words to singer Angelique Kidjo's song “Lonlon,” a reworked version of Ravel's Bolero, the collection was unveiled.
And just like the one-time-only participation of Goude, each outfit in the show felt like a one-shot. Every ensemble had its own unique personality. A roomy white silk tuxedo worn with a bright blue fez hat would be followed by a sari top and black trousers. Or a form-fitting long navy dress embroidered with zigzagging beadwork down the body would proceed a voluminous gold lamé coat with a long train attached at the back with a bow.
There were however a few subtle threads of motifs that pulled the collection together. Bold bows appeared a number of times in different alliterations. As did mirror-shaped embellishments and accessories. Head pins were embroidered into outfits or printed onto fabrics. When paired with images of helping hands and clever pin-shaped cuffs, created in partnership with Maison Gripoix, it was hard not to think of the true stars of this show — the petites mains of the house's atelier.
This show might not have had a designer at its helm during the creation of the collection. But if we are being really honest, it was perhaps one of the strongest Schiaparelli shows since it's rebirth.