Amid rumors that Rochas designer Marco Zanini would be appointed to helm Schiaparelli’s re-launch comes more news about the revival of the brand: French designer Christian Lacroix has been tapped to create a 15-piece couture collection as a “one-time tribute to Elsa Schiaparelli,” writes The New York Times’s Suzy Menkes.
Lacroix has been missing from the design circuit since 2009, when his namesake label -- once famous for its flair for fine prints and Edwardian-era romance -- faced liquidation. He’s since channeled his colorful talents towards designing a paper goods line and creating costumes for ballet repertoires across Europe.
Lacroix was careful to tell Menkes of his Schiaparelli project: “It is not a return to fashion. I am not going to be at the heart of the house, nor will I give a catwalk show. It is simply the idea of revisiting her collections.” Menkes’s colleague Cathy Horyn reports that Lacroix will debut the collection on July 15 during Paris’s Haute Couture Fashion Week.
Schiaparelli’s owner, Tod’s magnate Diego Della Valle (who purchased the dormant brand in 2006), says that Lacroix’s couture installment is, in Menkes’s words, “part of a three-step process involving different designers.” Though more details were not provided, the collaborative program seems to mimic Versace’s new concept for Versus, which employs a new guest designer every few seasons. Menkes writes that Della Valle feels that “using a variety of designers rather than one ‘name’ is part of a general view today that it is the brand, not the person who interprets it, that is king.” However, announcement of an umbrella artistic director and accessories designer are expected soon.
In the meantime, Lacroix has already offered a glimpse of his concept for the Schiaparelli collection: “I am fascinated most of all by what people talk of least when they speak of her work. It is brought down too a caricature, forgetting her eccentricity, her innovative fabrics, even a certain sense of purity. That is what I want to find again.”