Since Elsa Schiaparelli hit the fashion scene almost a century ago, the maison has held a distinct role in bringing life to surrealism and surrealism to life. Now in the proficient hands of Daniel Roseberry, the house of Schiaparelli is now one of the highlights of every fashion month calendar, with the American designer building a punchy and whimsical identity for the brand’s ready-to-wear offerings. Not only does Roseberry’s reverence for Schiaparelli sing in each collection, but his ability to push her “madness” forward has turned a generation of new fans onto the legacy of his predecessor. And with Spring/Summer 2024, he continues this assignment with just as much gaiety and skill as we’ve come to expect.
At the Hôtel de Boisgelin, an Italian embassy on Paris’s Rue de Varenne, Shalom Harlow opened in a structural blazer dress with measuring tape embroidery down one side of the neckline. The venue may have been a nod to the founder’s roots, but even if not, there was plenty of Elsa in the madcap ideas Roseberry brought to the runway.
The body once again featured as the ultimate muse, with anatomical ribcages teased on a two-piece knit set giving a whole new meaning to ‘ribbed knits’. Anatomical toes returned this season in sneakers and satin ballet pumps or a youthful edge, while eyes and ear pieces showed up sporadically, too. Gilded nipples on a red mini were an exercise in subtlety, while a feather-light black leather one-piece traced a skeletal figure.
As many might know, Elsa Schiaparelli created a dress featuring a Salvador Dalí-painted lobster that was famously worn by the Duchess of Windsor—its suggestiveness causing quite a stir in 1930s England. Though Roseberry once thought it too obvious as a reference to touch, he now proudly boasts crustacean totems with a three-dimensional canvas lobster placed on the front of an ivory skirt, giant gold lobsters and crabs hanging from necks, and as a stretch, the fish motifs. It’s even in the bright blood orange that peppers the collection.
Towards the end, a dress of chaotic genius makes its way down the runway. Redolent of the communal table at a bustling soiree, a figure-hugging canvas gown is affixed with loose cigarettes, nail polish spilling out to spell out ‘Schiaparelli’ and jewels strewn across the surface alongside a zippo lighter.
Nowhere do we see ready-to-wear receive such high-concept treatment, but that’s not to mislabel these clothes as overindulgent. Instead, the purity of Roseberry’s creativity is vividly laid out for us, and for a moment, we’re compelled to question why the magic of couture can’t spill over into the everyday. After all, couldn’t we all use a bit of this madness in the humdrum of life?
This article originally appeared on Grazia International