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Shocking: The Surreal World of Elsa Schiaparelli

Marie-Sophie Carron de la Carrière, Dilys Blum, Emmanuelle de l’Écotais, Jean-Louis Gaillemin, Patrick Mauriès, Marie-Pierre Ribère, Hanya Yanagihara, Valérie Belin, Johannes Huth, Olivier Gabet


Published to accompany the major exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, a must-have book for all fashion lovers

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Brilliant, witty and liberated, Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) was a key figure in the world of mid-20th century fashion. From her first sweaters in 1927, decorated with trompe-l’oeil bow motifs, to her baroque gowns of the early 1950s, via her designs inspired by her friendship with Surrealist artists – the lobster dress and shoe-hat inspired by Salvador Dalí, and her collaborations with Man Ray and Jean Cocteau – this striking and talented woman shaped fashion history with her vivid imagination. Her salons in the Place Vendôme were designed by Jean-Michel Frank, and her designs immortalized in sketches by Leonor Fini and Marcel Vertès. Diving into the world of Schiaparelli is a fascinating journey into the heart of Paris couture.


'Beautifully illustrated … pays tribute to a woman who truly understood the art of style'
Harper’s Bazaar

'Illuminating and grand ... Not even the most dedicated fashionista will leave 'Shocking' without a deeper sense of Schiaparelli's effort to make clothes that encouraged people to think'
Shelf Awareness

'This delightful book, filled with illustrations and laced together with observational essays, reminds us of the creativity of a woman who thought clothes could be more than things to wear … a wild celebration of a rare talent'
The Lady

'An alluring tribute to the inventive designer who was so far ahead of her time she's still avant-garde nearly 50 years after her death ... Includes trenchant essays on Schiaparelli's life, achievements, and influence'

'Explores the sensational creations of the Italian designer [and] traces the evolution of 'Schiap' style. Drawings, essays, original artwork, archival material, and contemporary features fill the gaps in the story'
Air Mail

'One hundred and twenty designs and accessories are lavishly photographed in full color... You will be struck by the breadth of Schiap’s influence... Essential reading is Hanya Yanagihara’s interview with the current artistic director of Maison Schiaparelli, Daniel Roseberry'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 30.5 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 25 August 2022

ISBN: 9780500025949

Contents List

Preface by Johannes Huth

Elsa Schiaparelli, a Last Dance - Olivier Gabet

Shocking: Life between the Lines - Marie-Sophie Carron de la Carrière
Man Ray and Elsa Schiaparelli: Fair Weather for Creativity - Emmanuelle de l’Écotais
Three Asides - Patrick Mauriès
Dressing the Modern Woman - Dilys Blum
When Dalí Discovered Fashion - Jean-Louis Gaillemin

Clothing and Accessories
Elsa Schiaparelli - Valérie Belin

Costume Jewelry and Accessories

Schiaparelli Today
More Beautiful When Broken: A Conversation with Daniel Roseberry - Hanya Yanaghirara

Clothing and Accessories from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris Collection
Chronology of the Life of Elsa Schiaparelli

About the Author

Marie-Sophie Carron de la Carrière is a senior curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and
head of the fashion collections from 1800 to present.