Schiaparelli’s Future Is In the Stars

You know a dusty old fashion house is ready for a revival when it does well at auction. Not just well, but astronomically well. Or is it astrologically? This “Zodiac” jacket from Elsa Schiaparelli’s fall 1938 collection sold for £110,000 (£132,000 with premium) at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London. Apparently there was even a bidding battle that erupted between the anonymous hopefuls. Who wouldn’t fight over the midnight-blue couture masterpiece covered in Lesage-embroidered planets, shooting stars, and astrological signs?

Like most French houses, Schiaparelli serious suffered losses beginning in 1939 (the year after this jacket was made), when France declared war on Germany, and had become moribund well before it officially closed in 1954. In 2006 it was acquired by the Della Valle Group, who’ve been quietly injecting excitement back into the maison ever since. Just months ago, Marco Zanini was appointed creative director in charge of haute couture and prêt-à-couture (a newly coined term akin to masstige). In January he’ll make his debut for Schiaparelli, the first collection since the house’s dalliance with Christian Lacroix.

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