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Daniel Roseberry: "We design fantasies, but right now reality seems like a fantasy"


Schiaparelli's creative director has made the century-old house relevant again. For him, this uncertain world demands extreme designs.

Daniel Roseberry (Texas, 37 years old) never starts with sketches when devising a new collection.

Schiaparelli's creative director prefers to start by writing what he wants to convey with her.

“He helps me order myself.

It is like a soundtrack that accompanies me in the process”, explains the designer.

At her winter couture show this past July, guests were greeted with notes at their seats in which Roseberry reflected on a love of beauty "without guilt," a bold idea at a time when all the collections seem to have a justification or an argument that legitimizes them.

“It is what we needed in the team, to turn the creative process into a way of escaping from reality.

It is ironic to think that we work with surrealism when our lives are becoming more and more surreal.

We design fantasies, but right now reality seems like a fantasy”, he says, reclining on one of the sofas in the hundred-year-old salons in Place Vendôme in Paris that were once the home of Elsa Schiaparelli and are now the firm's offices.

This sense of improbable everydayness was not what motivated the firm to open a major retrospective last fall at the Museum of Decorative Arts, but it was what led to the designer's work being included in the show.

“It was already raised before I landed here, but suddenly my work, the dialogue with Elsa's surrealism, seemed pertinent.

The before and the now are not so different ”, he affirms, referring to those twenties and thirties of the last century in which,

A 'look' from his haute couture collection for winter 2023.Schiaparelli

Roseberry came to the


just over three years ago.

After working in New York as Thom Browne's right-hand man, Diego Della Valle (owner of the Tod's group, which has owned the firm since 2012) opted for him after the success of several creative directors at the brand.

A Texan creator landed on the quintessence of Parisian couture to resume the legacy of the designer who fused surrealism with fashion.

“The fact that the pandemic arrived a few months after I was here helped me in part to listen to myself, to be silent.

Now that everything has happened, I try to keep that silence, to listen to my intuition without external influences, ”she explains.

Image of part of the firm's salons, which were Elsa's home-studio and today house the brand's offices. Léa Crespi

In this time, the designer has achieved something almost impossible, to be relevant without parades involved, only with a handful of good ideas that have gone viral on social networks and that have later been worn by celebrities such as the rapper Cardi B or the singer and actress Lady Gaga.

Paradoxically, it came at the right time, when global circumstances made escapism an everyday occurrence.

“I suppose that when you have reduced budgets and teams you are more free, because there are not dozens of people making decisions for you”, he admits.

In fact, Schiaparelli is one of the few, if not the only, well-known firms that seem to prioritize creativity over selling, something of an industry exception that, with a limited team and budget, brings back, almost unadulterated ,

Various designs from the same collection, which translates the firm's surreal language into more functional silhouettes.Schiaparelli

“When I arrived and saw the files, I was not an expert on Elsa at all, I discovered her little by little.

Obviously, there are her collaborations with avant-garde artists and her surrealist objects, but in this time two things have caught my attention.

The first is his way of constructing the garments, with absolutely free and revolutionary patterns”, he says, alluding to a time between the wars, in which it was not common to see flowing suits and dresses, that is, functional ones.

“The second is that she did not care about the



At that time, Chanel put her hallmarks on everything she did, but Elsa's logo changed millions of times.

That seems to me a radical gesture, because when you are successful, the system makes you become a kind of production machine.

Maintaining spontaneity in fashion is a miracle."

Roseberry sketches one of the designs from her fall-winter 2023 ready-to-wear collection.

Lea Crespi

However, on the day this conversation takes place, Roseberry is finalizing the presentation of her new

prêt-à-porter collection

, which will be shown to the press and celebrities in these same rooms, with Kylie Jenner and Marisa Berenson, Elsa Schiaparelli's granddaughter, as guests of honor.

Since his arrival, this century-old house, dedicated entirely to haute couture and, as he says, to the almost radical creation of artistic handmade garments, the designer began to make more “realistic” industrial collections due to market demands.

“It's a very different approach to sewing,” he says, “so the first thing you have to ask yourself when designing


is why the world needs another collection.

Of course you don't need another one, there are more than enough clothes out there already.

That is why the commitment is that, even if it is prêt-à-porter, it must continue to be extraordinary”.

And by extraordinary he means


with handmade golden brocades, jacket suits finished in voluminous drapes or dresses with trompe l'oeil printed female torso.

In short, the oneirism of haute couture designed to be worn, and sold, to almost the same clientele, exclusively in small editions in temples such as Harrods or Bergdorf Goodman department stores.

“The silhouettes are comfortable and recognizable: shirts, pants, jackets… Here there are more restrictions than in sewing because everything is designed to be worn,” he explains, “but this is not for everyone.

This is for that kind of person who doesn't want to wear mass luxury.

In fact, many clients come here looking for haute couture and find that they can wear



I like to think that these clothes generate conversations”.

Various designs from the same collection, which translates the firm's surreal language into more functional silhouettes.Schiaparelli

The most profitable way Schiaparelli now has to spark such conversations are her bags, the Face model, with its golden eyes and nose, and the Secret, with a coat of arms that Elsa wore in 1931. Two more “realistic” ways of dress boldly

“I have a friend that every time she takes the Face bag to a restaurant, she places it on the table so that people who pass by ask her where she bought it.

It is that idea of ​​generating primary feelings, like when we were children and we were fascinated by finding our mothers' jewels.

My mission here is that in each collection there is something that arouses that feeling.

It is not enough to tell me that it is good or that it is better than the previous one.

I need to awaken that feeling.”

Various designs from the same collection, which translates the firm's surreal language into more functional silhouettes.Schiaparelli

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-05

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