Daniel Roseberry presents a new school of luxury for Schiaparelli
“Thanks for coming by,” says Daniel Roseberry amidst a heaving throng of press and celebrities who have descended upon the showroom in the Place Vendome to view the latest SS23 collection. Roseberry, ever gracious, appears slightly bemused by the frenzy. There are even fans and paparazzi outside awaiting arrivals and departures and a glimpse of The Extra-Ordinary collection that featured gold ‘body’ painted silken columns; a sheer top with gold nipple coverings; an hourglass black velvet gown hung on a necklace halter neck; and pale denim emblazoned with exquisite sunburst embroidery. “Ready to wear many be beholden to certain practical considerations but that doesn’t mean that the woman who wear it isn’t any entitled to fantasy than those who buy couture,” says the softly spoken Texan born Roseberry.
Cue some of the delectable pieces from the current AW collection including the Anatomy cardigan jacket with its gold ear fastenings; Bijoux sweaters adorned with surrealist charms and the Stockman lbd with chains at the torso. Find the now iconic gold nose handbag, gold ‘toe’ heels, and spectacular surrealist motif pendants and earrings in the collectible accessories range.
Indeed, Roseberry’s extraordinary interpretation of fantasy is what has imploded this once sleepy Maison into a pop cultural trailblazer. His out of this world vision has triggered some of the most explosive pop cultural moments in recent history. Remember Kim Kardashian in that moulded green leather ‘six pack’ Hulk bustier? or Bella Hadid in a plunging black gown that sprouted gold bronchi like filigree over her breasts? or Lady Gaga at the presidential inauguration in a bullet proof cinched waist jacket pinned with a symbolic dove of peace brooch and magnificent pink ball gown skirt? The gown is now in prime position in Shocking! The Surrealist Worlds of Elsa Schiaparelli at MAD in Paris (until January 23).
Leonie Hanne in Schiaparelli at Paris Fashion Week
@virginia_bertoldi // Instagram
Rina Sawayama during Paris Fashion Week
Elsa Schiaparelli, the Italian born couturier who launched her Maison in 1927 is likely to be looking upon Roseberry’s reinvention with pride and glee. Innovation and surprise were the name of her game as she shook the polite salons of Paris out of demure style codes, dressing clients in ‘hard chic’ tailleurs embellished with surrealist motif embroidery, in shocking pink and in head turning gowns with tail feathers and famously, a Dali drawn lobster (1937). Greta Garbo, heiress Millicent Rogers, Wallis Simpson, and Marlene Dietrich were amongst her transatlantic fans.
Roseberry was hired as the creative director in 2019 (billionaire Diego Della Valle, behind the Tod’s shoe empire, bought the house in 2013) and he has reimagined Schiaparelli as a brand that embodies surprise and seriously unexpected chic
“My least favourite question is ‘who’s the Schiaparelli woman?’ says Roseberry who has designed couture for a diversity of women from Jill Biden to Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Cardi B and his mother. “There is an elasticity to the language which is the primary ingredient and proof that women want something different from Schiaparelli,” says 36-year-old, Roseberry.
The poignantly spoken Roseberry delivers fantastical ready to wear alongside spectacular couture. In July, the Born-Again couture was revealed with a cornucopia of ideas with giant silk flowers bursting from velvet coat dresses and balloons of ivory silk faille topping bustier gowns. “Fashion is silly at times. It's also provocative, upending, challenging, and meaningful,” says Roseberry. “ It's breath-taking. It's beautiful.”
@schiaparelli // Instagram
Under Roseberry, Schiaparelli, has risen like a phoenix and peer group designers including Pier Paolo Piccioli and Oliver Rousteing are admirers. “Della Valle describes Schiaparelli as the ‘last unexplored dream’ in fashion and I keep that at the forefront of my mind. He has allowed me to find my way. It is extra-ordinary that I’m here and I know that!” says Roseberry. “She has been asleep for so long,” he adds.
Prior to Paris, Roseberry was unknown. The Texan born talent went straight from FIT in NYC, via an internship, to work with Thom Browne in New York. “I was sewing the handwritten labels into the clothes in a factory in Queens when Thom asked to see my book,” says Roseberry of the game changing moment. He dropped out of FIT and began the next day. There Roseberry learnt his craft, later heading up womenswear and creating wildly surreal anthropomorphic catwalk designs. For the young twenty-year-old from Plano, a suburb of Dallas, the immersion was thrilling. “I grew up in a creative family. My mother and grandmothers are artists, my uncle a sculptor while my father is an Anglican church minister,” says Roseberry who has four siblings and started sketching gowns as 12-year-old glued to the Style Channel.
His adoption of Paris ( he arrived just before Covid hit) has been a slow seduction. He has a close group of friends including Trino Verkade, CEO of The Sarabande Foundation and Hanya Yanagihara, the author and editor in chief of the New York Times’ T Style Magazine who he met while on holiday in Milos, Greece in 2017. They help Roseberry keep a healthy perspective on the hoopla of the industry and in tune with his powerful intuition, optimism and indefatigable curiosity. Roseberry’s largess of emotion is fuel behind his creativity – he is creating fashion that looks like nothing else out there. These are designs that awaken the eye and the spirits.