Soooo, the aforementioned ebay frenzy wasn't a total waste of time and money because whet my appetite for vintage hats. Ergo I bring you a survey of the Elsa Schiaparelli hats now available on ebay. An odd posting for me because I am a major hat chicken. My boyfriend rocks hats and he gets all kinds of attention when he wears them. On the other hand, on the odd occasion that I have worn a hat, I've felt all self conscious and had to take it off.
Warning, this post isn't as aesthetically pleasing as usual because ebay vendors aren't great photographers in general and a number of them employ the services of some Stepford Wife-esque mannequins. Apologies in advance for that and I hope the glamour and whimsy of the hats shines through the shitty flash photography and cracked out dummies.
Before I start with the hats, a little history lesson courtesy of wicked beautiful. If you can't be bothered to read this, you should be bothered, because Schiaparelli was a pioneer of a number of ventures that are now considered de rigeur for the fashion industry (fragrance, boutiques, fashion advertising). Plus, she's quite fascinating because she treated fashion as art and collaborated with people like Salvador Dali no less.
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer of the mid-Twentieth century. She opened her first fashion house in Paris in 1927. Schiaparelli was known for her offbeat, avant-garde fashions. She collaborated with Surrealist artists like Salvador Dali (most famously on a hat shaped like a high-heeled shoe), Jean Cocteau, and Alberto Giacometti. She also opened what could be considered the world's first boutique, where women could buy her designer clothing off-the-rack instead of being custom-fitted at a couture salon.
Like other fashion designers of her time, most notably Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli branched out into the world of fragrances. She introduced her first and most famous fragrance, called Shocking, in 1936. The bottle was in the shape of a female figure, modeled after Mae West -- a client of Schiaparelli's -- and it was designed by Salvador Dali. The name came from Schiaparelli's signature color, shocking pink. The Shocking line grew to include makeup such as lipstick and powder. Schiaparelli subsequently launched other fragrances, including Zut, Salut, Success Fou, Snuff (for men), and Sleeping.
She created some amazing dresses etc but for the purposes of this post I'm sticking to hats.
Et voila, les chapeaux!
Click on titles for ebay links to buy.