La Dolce Vita

One of the most inventive fashion designers from the 1930s is Elsa Schiaparelli.  In typical Roman form, she had fun with fashion and didn’t take anything too seriously, often working with surrealist artists such as Jean Cocteau and Alberto Giacometti to create whimsical designs with a tongue-in-cheek appeal.  Perhaps most well known is the lobster dress, the result of a collaboration with Salvador Dali, and worn by Wallis Simpson (the future Duchess of Windsor) for a 1937 Vogue spread photographed by Cecil Beaton:

She made these quirky gloves, upon being inspired by a photograph taken by Man Ray of hands Picasso painted to look like gloves:

Schiaparelli also did some amazing embroidery and beadwork using metallic gold threads, mirrors, and sequins, which really inspire me:

embroidered Versailles cape

design collaboration with Jean Cocteau

I think Schiaparelli embodies the Roman design aesthetic perfectly - it’s decadent, fun, and glamourous, with lots of bold color tinged in gold.  If anyone knows how to do over the top, it’s the Romans!  

Her interpretation of the trends in art and culture during the late 1930s, along with all that intricate beadwork, really inspired my Rome collection:

Rome Necklace

Rome Drop Earrings

Rome Cuff