Elsa Schiaparelli: Skeleton Dress, 1938. Photos from the Victoria & Albert Museum.
I wrote about Schiaparelli’s magnificent “tear dress” yesterday. Here’s another dress she designed with her friend Salvador Dali for the same collection. The “skeleton dress,” with its padded representations of human bones, caused an uproar. The fact that this bleak outfit was, along with the equally disturbing “tear dress,” part of a riotous collection full of madcap, whimsical colors based on a circus, made it even more shocking.
The dress looks today shockingly modern, like something the macabre master Alexander McQueen, who used skeleton and skull motifs frequently, would have done. And of course, it predates Rei Kawakubo’s infamous “lumps and bumps” collection for Comme des Garcons by almost 60 years.