Book Review: The Life and Fashions of Elsa Schiaparelli – Shocking pink—hot pink, as it is called today—was the signature color of Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) and perhaps her greatest contribution to the fashion world. Schiaparelli was one of the most innovative designers in the early 20th century. Many design elements that are taken for granted today she created and brought to the forefront of fashion.
She is credited with many firsts: trompe l’oeil sweaters with collars and bows knitted in; wedge heels; shoulder bags; and even the concept of a runway show for presenting collections. Hot Pink—printed with a fifth color, hot pink!—explores Schiaparelli’s childhood in Rome, her introduction to high fashion in Paris, and her swift rise to success collaborating with surrealist and cubist artists like Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau.
The book includes an author’s note, a list of museums and websites where you can find Schiaparelli’s fashions, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.
“A studied account of the innovative and impulsive fashion legend that’s likely to inspire budding designers of any age.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“On broad pages appropriately accented with shocking pink and peppered with well-reproduced photos, Rubin details Schiap’s tenacious independence (“The fact that I was obliged to learn things I did not care about and curb my imagination revolted me”), her playfulness in her design studio, her collaborations with avant-garde artists, and her commitment to the war effort during WWII… kids who “dare to be different” will be enchanted by Schiap’s indomitable spirit and fearless creativity.”
Susan Goldman Rubin is the author of a number of highly praised biographies for young people, including Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People; Whaam! The Art and Life of Roy Lichtenstein; Andy Warhol: Pop Art Painter; and Jean Laffite: The Pirate Who Saved America. Rubin lives in Malibu, California.
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