New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring 2012 exhibition ‘Impossible Conversations’ is now open and showcases many of Schiaparelli’s iconic pieces. Schiaparelli is Lulu’s greatest influence so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to interview Lulu about Schiaparelli and surrealist art…
You have always said that Elsa Schiaparelli is one of your biggest influences within the fashion world. Which is your first memory on Elsa Schiaparelli’s work? And how does she inspire you?
My first memory of Schiaparelli’s work is the shoe shaped hat, which she collaborated with Dalí. I love how Schiaparelli combines humour into her work. I am hugely influenced by Schiaparelli, her 5th commandment ‘90% are afraid of being conspicuous and of what people say. They should Dare to be Different!’ has become my life mantra. Without her I would not have had the courage to design my flower basket, which was consequently exhibited in the V&A. (see 1a & 1b)
Have you any favourite Elsa Schiaparelli’s piece?
My absolute favourite Schiaparelli piece is the optical illusion of Schiaparelli’s embroidered jacket of an urn composed of two faces and filled with pink roses. (see 2)
Which role does the sense of humour have in your work?
I like to have an element of humour in all my handbags.
Please, complete this sentence: The most Surrealist piece I have ever designed is…
The most Surrealist piece I have ever designed is my lobster dress collectable bag and scroll jacket which were directly influenced by Schiaparelli. (see 3a &3b) My iconic lips clutches are also influenced by the Surrealists, I was inspired by Dalí and also by Schiaparelli’s term ‘Shocking’ pink. (see 4)
Please, complete this sentence: The most Surrealist fashion icon nowadays is..
Stephen Jones, his millinery is exquisite.
The ‘Impossible Conversations’ exhibition runs until the 19th August. For more information, click here >>