Elsa Schiaparelli, 1937, wearing her own designs
10 September 1890|
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||13 November 1973
Elsa Schiaparelli[pronunciation?] (1890–1973) was an Italian fashion designer. Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars. Starting with knitwear, Schiaparelli's designs were heavily influenced by Surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti. Her clients included the heiress Daisy Fellowes and actress Mae West.
Schiaparelli did not adapt to the changes in fashion following World War II and her business closed in 1954.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Fashion career
- 4 Perfumes
- 5 Jewellery
- 6 Film costumes
- 7 Legacy
- 8 The House of Schiaparelli
- 9 Exhibitions
- 10 Family
- 11 Shocking Life: The 12 Commandments for Women
- 12 Notes and references
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
Elsa Luisa Maria  Schiaparelli was born at the Palazzo Corsini in Rome. Another child Beatrice had been born into the family some nine years earlier and due to the age difference and parental favoritism shown to the older daughter, the two sisters never developed a close relationship. Her mother, Maria-Luisa, was a Neapolitan aristocrat. Her father, Celestino Schiaparelli, was an accomplished scholar with multiple areas of interest. His studies focused on the Islamic world and the era of the Middle Ages and he was, in addition, an authority on Sanskrit and a curator of medieval manuscripts. He also served as Dean of the University of Rome. A cousin was a noted Egyptologist whose explorations had uncovered the grave of Nefertari. His brother, astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, had discovered the canali of Mars. Schiaparelli spent many entranced childhood hours with this Uncle studying the heavens through the lens of his telescope. Schiaparelli herself would later go on to study philosophy at the University of Rome.
The cultural background and erudition of her family members served to ignite the imaginative facilties of Schiaparelli’s impressionable childhood years. She became enraptured with the lore of ancient cultures and religious rites. These sources inspired her to pen a volume of poems titled Arethusa based on the ancient Greek myth of the hunt. The content of her writing so alarmed the conservative sensibilities of her parents they sought to tame her fantasy life by sending her to a convent boarding school in Switzerland. Once within the school’s confines, Schiaparelli rebelled against its strict authority by going on a hunger strike, which resulted in the desired effect. Her parents saw no alternative but to return her to Italy and home.
The refinements and comforts provided by a life of wealth and elite social status failed to satisfy Schiaparelli's curious mind and craving for adventure and exploration of the wider world. She considered her life cloistered and unfulfilling and took measures to remedy this situation. She found both the reasons and opportunity to leave Italy. A friend offered her a post caring for orphaned children in an English country house, a placement that proved uncongenial to one of Schiaparelli’s background and temperament. She subsequently planned to return to Paris, the city that had been an exhilarating stop over on her way to England. Returning to Rome and her family would have meant defeat, failure to gratify her many enthusiasms and satisfy personal ambitions still in the formative stage.
Schiaparelli fled to London to avoid the certainty of marriage to a persistent suitor, a wealthy Russian whom her parents favored and for whom she herself felt no attraction. In London, Schaiparelli who had held a fascination for psychic phenomenon since childhood, attended a lecture on theosophy. The lecturer that night was Wilem de Wendt, a man of various aliases who was also known as Willie Wendt and Wilhem de Kerlor. He reported to have legally changed his name while in England to Wilhelm Frederick Wendt de Kerlor, a combination of his father's last name and mother's maiden name. His actual profession was one of tireless, inventive self-promoter, in reality a con man who claimed to have psychic powers, and numerous academic credentials. He alternatively and simultaneously passed himself off as detective and criminal psychologist, doctor, and lecturer. In a stint on the vaudeville stage he billed himself as "The World Famous Dr. W. de Kerlor."  Schiaparelli was immediately attracted to this charismatic charlatan and they became engaged on the very next day of their first meeting. They married shortly thereafter in London on July 21, 1914, Schiaparelli was twenty-three, her new husband thirty. Schiaparelli played the role of helpmate dedicated to facilitating the promotion of her husband’s fraudulent schemes. In 1915 the couple were forced to leave England, de Kerlor deported after being convicted for practicing fortune telling at that time illegal. They subsequently lived a peripatetic existence residing in Paris, the south of France in Cannes, Nice, and Monte Carlo.
In the spring of 1916, the couple left France for America disembarking in New York. They initially stayed at the Brevoort, a prominent hotel in New York’s Greenwich Village, then relocated to an apartment above the Café des Artistes near Central Park West. De Kerlor rented offices, which housed his newly inaugurated "Bureau of Psychology" where he hoped to achieve fame and fortune through his paranormal and consulting work. Schiaparelli served as his assistant providing clerical support for his self-promotions crafted to provide the newspapers with sensational copy, win celebrity and garner acclaim. It was during this period that de Kerlor came under the surveillance of the Federal government’s Bureau of Investigation, (BOI) a precursor of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI), not only for his dubious professional practices but also on suspicion of harboring anti-British and pro-German allegiance during wartime. Attempting to avoid this unremitting scrutiny, Schiaparelli and de Kerlor decamped to Boston in 1918.
Once in Boston, they continued their activities as they had done in New York. Throughout, de Kerlor attempted to earn a living aggrandizing his reputation as a psychic practitioner as the couple subsisted primarily on the wedding dowry and an allowance provided by Schiaparelli’s wealthy parents. By 1917, de Kerlor’s acquaintance with journalists John Reed and Louise Bryant had positioned him on the government radar as a possible Bolshevik sympathizer and Communist revolutionary. De Kerlor, an incurable publicity hound, made imprudent admissions to a BOI investigator in prideful support of the Russian Revolution and went so far as to admit to an association with a notorious anarchist. Schiaparelli followed her husband’s lead and incriminated herself by revealing that she was tutoring Italians in Boston’s North End on the tenets of Bolshevism and that she herself had the knowledge to assemble explosive devices. Both were ultimately spared prosecution or deportation, the authorities concluding that such admissions so freely given were more indicative of foolish grandstanding than evidence of individuals who were a threat to society.
Almost immediately after the birth of their child, Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha (nicknamed 'Gogo'), was born on June 15, 1920, de Kerlor moved out leaving Schiaparelli alone with their newborn daughter. In later years, whenever the child asked Schiaparelli about her absent father, Schiaparelli told her daughter that he was dead. This dismissal of de Kerlor’s existence proved to be prophetic as in 1928 de Kerlor was murdered in Mexico under circumstances never fully revealed.
After some six years of marriage, Schiaparelli and de Kerlor had grown apart. Neither one had remained faithful during their married life. De Kerlor, purportedly, had affairs with dancer Isadora Duncan and the actress Nazimova. After her husband's desertion, Schiaparelli had taken a lover, opera singer Mario Laurenti, who died after a sudden illness in 1922 ending their relationship. Schiaparelli, apparently, made no efforts to bring her husband back or to seek out support payment for herself and their child. They divorced in March 1924.
Schiaparelli returned to New York attracted to its spirit of fresh beginnings and cultural vibrancy. Her interest in spiritualism with de Kerlor translated into a natural affinity for the art of the Dada and Surrealist movements. Her friendship with Gabrielle "Gaby" Buffet-Picabia, wife of Dada/Surrealist artist Francis Picabia facilitated Schiaparelli’s entre into this creative circle, which comprised noteworthy members such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen.
Although never threatened with destitution as she continued to receive financial support from her mother, Schiaparelli, nevertheless, felt the need to earn her own independent income. Adept at the devices of promotion through her years with de Kerlor, Schiaparelli assisted Man Ray with a Dada magazine of his own invention the Société Anonyme, which proved to be short lived. Gabrielle Picabia conceived of a business enterprise that would be beneficial to herself and Schiaparelli. Connected to the French couturier Paul Poiret through her association with his daughter Nicole Groult, Picabia conceived of an idea to sell French couture in America. This proposed project, however, never became a viable enterprise and was abandoned.
In 1921, at age 18 months, Schiaparelli’s daughter was diagnosed with polio. This proved to be a stressful and protracted challenge for both mother and child. Years later “Gogo” recalled her childhood: “I…spent my early years in plaster casts on crutches and off.” Her mother was largely a missing presence in her life. “I barely saw her. A lot of my childhood was spent alone and parentless.” Prior to her return to France in 1922, Schiaparelli fearing her husband would attempt to gain legal custody of their child, had her daughter’s last name legally changed to Schiaparelli.
Enduring the strains of life married to a man as flamboyant and restless as de Kerlor, Schiaparelli relied greatly on the emotional support offered her by Gabrielle Picabia. The two had first met on board ship during the transatlantic crossing to America Schiaparelli and her husband had made in 1916. The two women had become close friends. Following the lead of Gabrielle Picabia and other friends, Schiaparelli left New York for France in 1922. Upon her arrival in Paris, Schiaparelli took an expansive apartment in a fashionable quarter of the city taking on the requisite servants, cook and maid. The self-made associations she formed over the years along with the eminent social position held by her Italian family combined to ensure that she would be embraced by desirable social circles on her return to France.
In Paris, Schiaparelli - known as "Schiap" to her friends - began making her own clothes. With some encouragement from Paul Poiret, she started her own business but it closed in 1926 despite favourable reviews. She launched a new collection of knitwear in early 1927 using a special double layered stitch created by Armenian refugees and featuring sweaters with surrealist trompe l'oeil images. Although her first designs appeared in Vogue, the business really took off with a pattern that gave the impression of a scarf wrapped around the wearer's neck. The "pour le Sport" collection expanded the following year to include bathing suits, ski-wear, and linen dresses. The divided skirt, a forerunner of shorts, shocked the tennis world when worn by Lili de Alvarez at Wimbledon in 1931. She added evening wear to the collection in 1931, using the luxury silks of Robert Perrier, and the business went from strength to strength, culminating in a move from Rue de la Paix to acquiring the renowned salon of Louise Chéruit at 21 Place Vendôme, nicknamed the Schiap Shop.
Colin McDowell noted that by 1939, Schiaparelli was well-known enough in intellectual circles to be mentioned as the epitome of modernity by the Irish poet Louis MacNeice. Although McDowell cites McNeice's reference as from Bagpipe Music, it is actually from stanza XV of Autumn Journal.
A darker tone was set when France declared war on Germany in 1939. Schiaparelli's Spring 1940 collection featured "trench" brown and camouflage print taffetas. Soon after the fall of Paris on 14 June 1940, Schiaparelli sailed to New York for a lecture tour; apart from a few months in Paris in early 1941, she remained in New York City until the end of the war. On her return she found that fashions had changed, with Christian Dior's "New Look" marking a rejection of pre-war fashion. The house of Schiaparelli struggled in the austerity of the post-war period, and Elsa finally closed it down in December 1954, the same year that her great rival Chanel returned to the business. Aged 64, she wrote her autobiography and then lived out a comfortable retirement between her apartment in Paris and house in Tunisia. She died on 13 November 1973.
Taking its inspiration from the utility of the commonplace apron, Schiaparelli devised a dress silhouette that would accommodate and flatter all female body types. Her ingenuity lay in the simple realization that there was an alternative method to putting on a dress other than pulling it over the head and down the body. First introduced in 1930, this dress was two-sided with an armhole on each side. The two sides were brought together in the front of the garment and held together with wrap ties at the waistline. Buttons may also have been incorporated into this early version. Initially conceived as beachwear and produced in tussore silk in four colors, the dress became popular with buyers and so much so it was appropriated by garment manufacturers who brought it to the consumer as everyday, casual street wear. The uncomplicated ease and visual appeal of this design gained popular favor again some forty years after its original debut as it was resurrected in the 1970s by American designer Diane Von Furstenberg.
Schiaparelli recognized that women needed bust line support in their bathing suits. The problem was how to incorporate a bra into a suit design that would provide the uplift without detracting from the allure of a low backed suit. She accomplished this by constructing an interior with hidden straps that crossed in the back and closed around the waist. In 1930 Schiaparelli applied for and received a patent for this design innovation. The suit was subsequently sold by retailer Best & Company.
Modern art, particularly Dada and Surrealism, provided a significant source of inspiration for Schiaparelli. She worked with a number of contemporary artists to develop her imaginative designs, most famously with Salvador Dalí. From these artistic collaborations, Schiaparelli’s most notable designs were born. In addition to well-documented collaborations such as the shoe hat and the Tears dress, Dalí's influence has been identified in designs such as the lamb-cutlet hat and a 1936 day suit with pockets simulating a chest of drawers. Schiaparelli also had a good relationship with other artists including Leonor Fini, Jean Cocteau, Meret Oppenheim, and Alberto Giacometti. Chanel referred to her as 'that Italian artist who makes clothes'.
In 1937, Schiaparelli collaborated with the artist Jean Cocteau to design a jacket and an evening coat for that year's Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a female figure with one hand caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde hair cascading down one sleeve. The coat featured two profiles facing each other, creating the optical illusion of a vase of roses. The embroidering of both garments was executed by the couture embroiderers Lesage.
The designs Schiaparelli produced in collaboration with Dalí are among her best known. While she did not formally name her designs, the four main garments from this partnership are popularly known as follows:
- Lobster Dress
The 1937 Lobster Dress was a simple white silk evening dress with a crimson waistband featuring a large lobster painted (by Dalí) onto the skirt. From 1934, Dalí had started incorporating lobsters into his work, including New York Dream-Man Finds Lobster in Place of Phone shown in the magazine American Weekly in 1935, and the mixed-media Lobster Telephone (1936). His design for Schiaparelli was interpreted into a fabric print by the leading silk designer Sache. It was famously worn by Wallis Simpson in a series of photographs by Cecil Beaton taken at the Château de Candé shortly before her marriage to Edward VIII.
- Tears Dress
The Tears Dress, a slender pale blue evening gown printed with a Dalí design of trompe l'oeil rips and tears, worn with a thigh-length veil with "real" tears carefully cut out and lined in pink and magenta, was part of the February 1938 Circus Collection. The print was intended to give the illusion of torn animal flesh, the tears printed to represent fur on the reverse of the fabric and suggest that the dress was made of animal pelts turned inside out. Figures in ripped, skin-tight clothing suggesting flayed flesh appeared in three of Dalí's 1936 paintings, one of which, Necrophiliac Springtime, was owned by Schiaparelli; the other two are The Dream Places A Hand on a Man's Shoulder and Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra.
- Skeleton Dress
- Shoe Hat
In 1933, Dalí was photographed by his wife Gala Dalí with one of her slippers balanced on his head. In 1937 he sketched designs for a shoe hat for Schiaparelli, which she featured in her Fall-Winter 1937-38 collection. The hat, shaped like a woman's high heeled shoe, had the heel standing straight up and the toe tilted over the wearer's forehead. This hat was worn by Gala Dalí, Schiaparelli herself, and by the Franco-American editor of the French Harper's Bazaar, heiress Daisy Fellowes, who was one of Schiaparelli's best clients.
Schiaparelli's perfumes were noted for their unusual packaging and bottles. Her best-known perfume was "Shocking!" (1936), contained in a bottle sculpted by Leonor Fini in the shape of a woman's torso inspired by Mae West's tailor's dummy and Dalí paintings of flower-sellers. The packaging, also designed by Fini, was in shocking pink, one of Schiaparelli's signature colours which was said to have been inspired by Daisy Fellowes' Tête de Belier (Ram's Head) pink diamond.
Other perfumes included:
- Salut (1934)
- Souci (1934)
- Schiap (1934)
- Sleeping (1938)
- Snuff (for men; 1939)
- Roi Soleil (1946)
- Zut! (1948)
Schiaparelli's output also included distinctive costume jewellery in a wide range of novelty designs. One of her most directly Surrealist designs was a 1938 Rhodoid (a newly developed clear plastic) necklace studded with coloured metallic insects, giving the illusion that the bugs were crawling directly on the wearer's skin. During the 1930s her jewellery designs were produced by Jean Clemént and Roger Jean-Pierre, who also made up designs for buttons and fasteners. She was also one of the first people to recognise the potential of Jean Schlumberger who she initially employed to create buttons for her in 1936. His jewellery for Schiaparelli, which featured inventive combinations of precious and semi-precious stones proved successful, and at the end of the 1930s, he left to launch his jewellery business in New York. In addition to Schlumberger, Clemént and Jean-Pierre, Schiaparelli also offered brooches by Alberto Giacometti, fur-lined metal cuffs by Méret Oppenheim, and pieces by Max Boinet, Lina Baretti, and the writer Elsa Triolet. Compared to her unusual couture 1930s pieces, 1940s and 1950s Schiaparelli jewellery tended to be more abstract or floral-themed.
Schiaparelli designed the wardrobe for several films, starting with the French version of 1933's Topaze, and ending with Zsa Zsa Gabor's outfits for the 1952 biopic of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge in which Gabor played Jane Avril. Moulin Rouge won Marcel Vertès an Academy Award for Costume Design, although Schiaparelli's role in costuming the leading lady went unacknowledged beyond a prominent on-screen credit for Gabor's costumes. Authentically, Gabor's costumes were directly based upon Toulouse-Lautrec's portraits of Avril.
She famously dressed Mae West for Every Day's a Holiday (1937) using a mannequin based on West's measurements, which inspired the torso bottle for Shocking perfume.
The failure of her business meant that Schiaparelli's name is not as well remembered as that of her great rival Chanel. But in 1934, Time placed Chanel in the second division of fashion, whereas Schiaparelli was one of "a handful of houses now at or near the peak of their power as arbiters of the ultra-modern haute couture....Madder and more original than most of her contemporaries, Mme Schiaparelli is the one to whom the word "genius" is applied most often". At the same time Time recognised that Chanel had assembled a fortune of some US$15m despite being "not at present the most dominant influence in fashion", whereas Schiaparelli relied on inspiration rather than craftsmanship and "it was not long before every little dress factory in Manhattan had copied them and from New York's 3rd Avenue to San Francisco's Howard Street millions of shop girls who had never heard of Schiaparelli were proudly wearing her models".
Perhaps Schiaparelli's most important legacy was in bringing to fashion the playfulness and sense of "anything goes" of the Dada and Surrealist movements. She loved to play with juxtapositions of colours, shapes and textures, and embraced the new technologies and materials of the time. With Charles Colcombet she experimented with acrylic, cellophane, a rayon jersey called "Jersela" and a rayon with metal threads called "Fildifer" - the first time synthetic materials were used in couture. Some of these innovations were not pursued further, like her 1934 "glass" cape made from Rhodophane, a transparent plastic related to cellophane. But there were more lasting innovations; Schiaparelli created wraparound dresses decades before Diane von Furstenberg and crumpled up rayon 50 years before Issey Miyake's pleats and crinkles. In 1930 alone she created the first evening-dress with a jacket, and the first clothes with visible zippers. In fact fastenings were something of a speciality, from a jacket buttoned with silver tambourines to one with silk-covered carrots and cauliflowers.
The House of Schiaparelli
The House of Schiaparelli was first opened in the 1930s at 21 Place Vendôme, but was shut down on 13 December 1954. In 2007, an Italian business man Diego Della Valle acquired the brand, but it wasn't until Marco Zanini was appointed in September 2013 that details of the brand's revival became public. The house has been nominated for a return to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture list of members, and presented its first show since nomination in January 2014. Schiaparelli, using a hyper-exclusive business strategy, is to sell its first collection exclusively at a by-appointment boutique in Paris.
- "Shocking!" The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (September 2003-January 2004) and the Museé de la Mode, Paris (March–August 2004).
- Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (May–August 2012)
- Couturier Christian Lacroix presented a tribute fashion collection to Schiaparelli at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in 2013.
Elsa Schiaparelli's daughter, Countess Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor, better known as Gogo Schiaparelli, married shipping executive Robert L. Berenson. Their children were model Marisa Berenson and photographer Berry Berenson. Both sisters appeared regularly in Vogue in the early 1970s. Berry was married to Anthony Perkins, who died of AIDS on September 12, 1992. Almost 9 years later, on September 11, 2001, Berry died on American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Shocking Life: The 12 Commandments for Women
In 1954 Elsa Schiaparelli published her autobiography "Shocking Life", which contains a list of 12 commandments (or guidelines) for women.
- Since most women do not know themselves, they should try to do so.
- A woman who buys an expensive dress and changes it, often with disastrous result, is extravagant and foolish.
- Most women (and men) are colour-blind. They should ask for suggestions.
- Remember, 20 percent of women have inferiority complexes, 70 percent have illusions.
- Ninety percent are afraid of being conspicuous, and of what people will say. So they buy a gray suit. They should dare to be different.
- Women should listen and ask for competent criticism and advice.
- They should choose their clothes alone or in the company of a man.
- They should never shop with another woman, who sometimes consciously, and often unconsciously, is apt to be jealous.
- She should buy little and only of the best or the cheapest.
- Never fit a dress to the body, but train the body to fit the dress.
- A woman should buy mostly in one place where she is known and respected, and not rush around trying every new fad.
- And she should pay her bills.
Notes and references
- "Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli". Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2003. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21.
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 4, 978-0-307-70159-6
- Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli - teacher's pack" (PDF). Philadelphia Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 2008-05-29.
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 7, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Hill, Rosemary (2004-02-19). "Hard-Edged Chic" 26 (4). London Review of Books. pp. 15–16. ISSN 0260-9592. Archived from the original on 2012-04-11.
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 4, 5, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- "Haute Couture". Time. New York. 1934-08-13. Archived from the original on 2007-07-16. (subscription required)
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 14, 15, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 19, 20, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 17, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 34, 37, 39, 42, 44, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 20, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 26-27, 44, 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 17, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6, p. 30, 36
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 28-30, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 50, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 53, 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 84, 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 28-30, 978-0-307-70159-6, p. 53, 61a
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 33, 55, 74, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 63, 67, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 63, 65, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p .66, 57, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 52, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 68, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Maison Robert Perrier (Fédération Nationale du Tissu). 2000. Exhibit. Mairie du 4e arrondissement de Paris, Paris.
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- McDowell, Colin (1988). McDowell's directory of twentieth century fashion (Rev. ed. ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press. ISBN 9780135669280.
- McDowell, Colin. "The Fashion Website: Schiaparelli". Colin McDowell: The Fashion Website. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Secrest, Meryle, "Elsa Schiaparelli," Alfred A. Knopf, 2014, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-307-70159-6
- Martin, Richard (1996). Fashion and Surrealism. Rizzoli International Publications. pp. 118–120. ISBN 978-0-8478-1073-4.
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- "Coat designed by Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau". Collections database. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 2009-03-18.
- "Dinner jacket designed by Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau". Collections database. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22.
- "The Lobster Dress". Collections database. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22.
- "The Tears Dress". Collections database. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 2009-03-18.
- "The Tears Dress". Collections database. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13.
- "The Skeleton Dress". Collections database. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 2009-03-18.
- "Shoe Hat worn by Gala Dalí". Collections database. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-03-09.
- Martin, Richard (1996). Fashion and Surrealism. Rizzoli International Publications. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-0-8478-1073-4.
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- "Perfume Intelligence - The Encyclopaedia of Perfume: Volume S : Schiaparelli, Elsa". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21.
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- "Necklace. Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)". Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Archived from the original on 2012-09-13.
- "Buttons. Jean Clément or Roger Jean-Pierre for Elsa Schiaparelli". Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21.
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