Most of you will know that my weekend blog absence is down to my burning off approximately 1,500 calories running 13.1 miles in the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. It's 5am right now, I'm craving noodles and my thighs feel like they'll never work properly again. I'm enjoying the feeling immensely. I have so much to say about the run itself but awaiting pictures from the Nike ppl. If you had a shred of respect for me or this blog, that will be shortly obliterated when you see a photo of me crying like a baby as I crossed the finishing line.
Paris seems like an utter age away after pounding the hilly terrain of San Francisco but hopefully this is timely as I went to visit the House of Schiaparelli on Place Vend√¥me in Paris, as they gear up for their proper relaunch as a haute couture label. They're going to be announcing a new creative director imminently and I'm personally intrigued as to a) who it is and b) what sort of direction they will take this storied but not necessarily well-known name (outside of the fashion circle). I don't want to wazz up the rumour mill but I hear the creative director is likely to be British which conjures up a number of possibilities. Fashionista named their list of designer choices which include John Galliano, Mary Katrantzou and the Rodarte sisters. I'd add Giles Deacon to the shortlist as well.
In the meantime, since the acquisition of the brand by Diego Delle Valle of Tod's, they've breathed life into Elsa Schiaparelli's original boutique and atelier address at 21 Place Vend√¥me as well as installing use and brand ambassador figure Farida Khelfa to spread the Schiap gospel. It's a strange chronology to talk up the relaunch of a house without any tangible product or creative director in place as yet, but it's well-timed with the recent interest in Schiaparelli's archives reignited by the Impossible Conversations exhibition at Met Museum. Therefore, I felt pretty lucky to go have a nose around the Schiaparelli salon rooms for a piece for Dazed Digital and I couldn't resist reblogging the photos here. The series of rooms include a mix of original artefacts owned or connected to Schiaparelli as well as more recently commissioned pieces, chosen by Khelfa to fit into the aesthetic of Schiaparelli. It's basically a decadent show home that sums up the spirit of this surrealist designer. Star items include a sphinx sculpture taken from Schiaparelli's original store interiors, gold columns by Alberto Giacometti, a wall drawing by Pierre Le-Tan (who illustrated a lot of Schiaparelli's original perfume ads), a powder compact and original artwork by Salvador Dali and some trippy glasses made by Man Ray. Schiaparelli's sketches, photos and ad campaigns also pepper the rooms. Along with the newly redesigned website, you could interpret this Schiaparelli show homeas part of Diego Valle's strategy to re-establish the history and legacy of this once-famous house instead of launching out of nowhere with a creative director. With all the subtle build up, it will be really exciting to see how the actual collections of the house take shape.
P.S. I still recommend reading Shocking Life, the autobiography of Elsa Schiaparelli for a quickie overview of the history of the brand as well as Schiap's memorable style quotes.