Maureen Corrigan on the role of Elsa Schiaparelli in writer Patricia Volk’s new memoir Shocked:
Volk’s own memoir zig-zags between the two titanic female figures — her mother and Schiaparelli — who impressed their ideas of beauty and womanhood on her. Schiaparelli was one of those “ugly-beautiful” women who make their mark through the force of personality and imagination. An intimate of Surrealist artists like Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali, Schiaparelli blurred the lines between art and fashion. Inspired by Dali’s loony recreation of the Venus de Milo with drawers, “Schap” as she was called, designed a women’s skirt suit with drawers and hardware for pockets.
Elsa Schiaparelli by Andre Durst, 1936