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Dali & Schiaparelli – presented in collaboration by The Dali Museum and Schiaparelli Paris – will feature haute couture gowns and accessories, jewelry, paintings, drawings, objects and photos, as well as new designs by Bertrand Guyon for Maison Schiaparelli. This will be the first exhibition dedicated to the creative relationship and works of Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali – friends and collaborators that set Paris and the world ablaze with their groundbreaking visions.
Elsa Schiaparelli was regarded as the most prominent figure in fashion between the two World Wars. Her designs deliberately subverted traditional notions of women’s roles and beauty, embracing and exaggerating the transgressive nature of fashion. Schiaparelli explored bold Surrealistic themes in her designs, heavily influenced by artists, especially Dali, with whom she often collaborated. The vibrant colors, experimental fabrics and elegant handmade decorations set her apart from other designers of the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the most notable clients for Schiaparelli’s haute couture designs included the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson; heiress Daisy Fellowes; and actresses Mae West and Marlene Dietrich.
Schiaparelli wrote that she “invented” her dresses, and the designs were known for their elegant and daring aesthetic combined with exquisite craftsmanship – a marriage of new ideas with traditional craft. Her designs were like the paintings of Dali in that they combined renaissance precision with wild imagination and dreamlike visions. Their fashion and art both delighted and shocked the senses and that approach was a trademark of their collaborations; their works embodied a sense of freedom and possibility that enlivened popular culture during a tumultuous time.
The Dali will be celebrating the exhibition with a grand fashion show and gala, bringing Paris chic to downtown St. Petersburg. The event will allow guests a glimpse into the secret world of haute couture. Held on Saturday October 14, 2017, the black tie affair will begin with a fashion show featuring contemporary Schiaparelli designs followed by an elegant dinner reception. A more casual yet equally celebratory Sunday brunch will be held the following day. A variety of other events and programs will also accompany the show. Learn about Dali & Schiaparelli exhibit + event support and sponsorship opportunities.
The Dali & Schiaparelli exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog with essays by Dilys Blum, Curator of Costume and Textiles for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Dali Museum Curator of Exhibitions William Jeffett, Dali Museum Director Hank Hine, and exhibition consultant John William Barger III.
The exhibition is organized by The Dali, St. Petersburg FL in collaboration with Schiaparelli, Paris with loans from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum and others.