The revival of the house of Schiaparelli has inspired Europeana Fashion partner MUDE to share with the public the Schiaperelli designs from its collection. In this blog, MUDE tells us about the legendary house and gives a behind-the-scenes look of the set-up of the exhibition.
Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) or Schiap, as she liked to be called, was born in Rome. She bound fashion and art together, collaborating with artists such as Jean Cocteau, Francis Picabia, Man Ray and Salvador Dali. In her witty creations inspired by Surrealism, humor and fantasy come together in sophisticated couture.
Schiaparelli was a pioneer: she introduced shorts in women’s clothing; visible zips used in couture, hitherto confined to underwear; promoted fashion shows; created fragrances commercialized in packages that were true art work; joined the beautiful with the bizarre; made the shocking pink and the trompe l’oeil iconic.
In the 1950s, due to the post-war austerity, Schiaparelli closed her Parisian fashion house. Nevertheless, her work remains today as visionary and singular as ever. In 2012, the name of Schiaparelli was everywhere: more than fifty years after the closing of her house, the reopening of maison Schiaparelli was announced by the Italian businessman Diego Della Valle; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented the hottest show of the year, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, which put in (imaginary) dialogue the two Italian designers from different generations – Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.
French designer Christian Lacroix (Arles, 1951) was elected to design the first couture collection of the renewed Schiaparelli, sharing with the Italian designer the sense of humor and boldness. About this challenge, Lacroix said: “Elsa is a sacred sphinx who will never cease to make us question things, all the while offering new puzzles by way of answers. My wish is to reinstate her at the centre of her fashion house and on the stage through which she seduced the world. “
To evoke the relaunch of the Schiaparelli brand, MUDE wants share with the public the pieces designed by Schiap that are part of MUDE’s Collection.
Europeana has launched its first free iPad app “Europeana Open Culture” that introduces the wonderful collections of its partners. Institutions from around Europe have hand-picked 350.000 images from their collections especially for the app, including costume-related images.
Costume is represented in the app via the costume collection of the Rijksmuseum, comprising of approximately 4.000 items. Nearly 100 costume-related objects from this collection can be accessed via the Europeana Open Culture app as well as a large selection of jewellery.
But the app offers more than just information on the collections and comes with a variety of extra features. Thanks to the large size of the images, you can zoom in in great detail and a comment option allows you to discuss the object with others. You can also share the images on your social media account and even link it to other articles on the web, for example on Wikipedia. Your favourite objects can be saved to curate your own personal museum or feel free to use them outside the app, as all images are either in the public domain or openly licensed.
Jill Cousins, Europeana Executive Director says:
“We’re really pleased to launch the first ever Europeana app. By downloading Europeana Open Culture, more people can now explore, share and have fun with Europe’s cultural heritage. It’s only a small snapshot of the whole of Europeana’s collections but small is beautiful. We’re enthusiastic and excited about the ‘Connect’ feature which you can use to link images to articles on the web, or to content on Wikipedia. And for the first time, you can make your own comments on individual images.”
Find out more on the Europeana blog or download the app directly from the iTunes app store. The app is currently only available for Apple iPad. The interface is in English, but the collections are in their original languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Latin!
Via the Open Culture app, Europeana makes cultural heritage available to everyone. Do you also think Europe’s cultural heritage should be openly and freely available for all? Support Europeana’s investment in digital cultural programmes across Europe so it can continue to disclose Europe’s cultural heritage. Join #AllezCulture on Facebook and tweet #allezculture and tell us why open and free access to cultural heritage is important.
In June, Europeana Fashion partner the Emilio Pucci Archive curates our Tumblr, infusing it with the iconic colours and prints of the classic Italian house. Alessandra Arezzi Boza, the archive’s curator, tells us more.
EF: How would you describe the legacy of Emilio Pucci to the fashion world?
AAB: I will start with a quote by Vanessa Friedman: “It is about innovation: Pucci was not only the first real Italian ready-to-wear brand, but also one of the first to bear a logo, to diversify into other design areas such as interiors and sportswear, to exploit technology, and to create fabrics that could be tossed into a handbag for ease of travel.” (from Pucci by Vanessa Friedman, Taschen)
As everybody knows, Emilio Pucci was a ski instructor when he created his first outfit, a very comfortable ski jumpsuit that went into production. In 1957 he made his first iconic collection inspired by the Palio race in Siena, that was an esploit of chromatic fancies and became his declaration of intents. The perfect connection between joyful prints, charged palettes and soft shapes able to underline women silhouettes, is the magic mix for success of Emilio Pucci.
Being faithful to sportswear without ever losing his elegance has carried him to become one of the most beloved designers of the jet-set. Starting with icons like Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, Greta Garbo and Jackie Kennedy, till modern stars like Madonna and Nicole Kidman: everybody has always been crazy for Emilio of Capri.
EF: What role does the Emilio Pucci Archive play in preserving the heritage of Emilio Pucci?
AAB: The Emilio Pucci Archive was created in 2001 by the Pucci family with the purpose of preserving, digitalizing and cataloguing the rich and diversified heritage comprehending all the creations gathered in more than 60 years of history of the Emilio Pucci Maison. The Archive is housed in the Pucci Palace, in Florence, headquarter to the Pucci Maison since 1947, with spaces dedicated to conservation, consultation and also to selected permanent exhibitions.
The main purpose of the archive is spreading the knowledge of the creations and work of Emilio Pucci through publications, exhibitions, didactic activities with schools and institutions connected with fashion, while also being a source of inspiration and documentation for the brand’s creative and communication staff.
Since 2004 several exhibitions, events and publications were curated by the Foundation. One of the projects of the Emilio Pucci Archive in the following months, is the creation of a Documentation and Training Centre in the new spaces, completely restored and dedicated to the Foundation’s activities and purposes, at the Villa di Granaiolo near Florence.
EF: What will you be showing on the Tumblr this month?
AAB: The wonderful world of Emilio Pucci’s prints and colours, hints of Pucci’s inspiring themes and some little precious highlights from the Archive’s wardrobes. For this special occasion we are going to disclose for the first time some of the treasures of the Archive. It is meant to be just a first preview of all the beautiful and inspiring contents that will be soon available through the Europeana Fashion portal.
Visit our Tumblr.