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Schiaparelli, Elsa (1890–1973) By Lehnert, Gertrud

DOI: 10.4324/0123456789-REM1903-1
Published: 26/04/2018
Retrieved: 25 September 2022, from


Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli was an avant-garde fashion designer extremely influential in the 1930s. Born in Rome into a well-to-do family, an early mésalliance with William de Wendt de Kerlo forced her to live in poverty in London and New York until she moved to Paris where she met avant-garde artists and—without ever having learned to sew—began her career in fashion. In contrast to Coco Chanel’s modernist simplicity, Schiaparelli indulged in aesthetic exaggerations and a profusion of fantastic decorations such as luxurious embroideries (realized by François Lesage, 1929–2011), often inspired by surrealist art.

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Citing this article:

Lehnert, Gertrud. "Schiaparelli, Elsa (1890–1973)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 25 Sep. 2022 doi:10.4324/0123456789-REM1903-1

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