Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, the joint retrospective of fashion opens today at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum.
Which means you can understand what a miracle it seemed to me to find not one, not two, but three pairs of vintage Schiaparelli stockings at a local garage sale this weekend! And for just 25 cents each! *Faint*
Actually, one pair isn’t stocking; they’re pantyhose… But still!
For those of you who don’t know, Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) was an incredible Italian fashion designer. Her rival was Coco Chanel; she sold to Mae West and the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson; she created the big-shouldered suit of Marlene Dietrich; she designed costumes for over 30 films (partial list); she collaborated with Man Ray and Salvador Dalí. Whew!
I adore Schiaparelli designs — especially the lingerie, so the stockings would be thrilling and welcome finds anytime, but this was quite a timely find for vintage fashion items.
Here are more details on what I scored:
Supp-hose, sheerest, seamless, nylon & Lycra (Spandex) in Calypso, 905, made in USA. One unworn pair of stockings, with Schiaparelli signature script in shocking pink, in the box, with black paper (glossy on one side), pink tissue paper, and original care/instructions insert.
Sheer Agilon pantyhose in Coffee Bean, style 199. Package is still sealed.
And last, but not least, Girdle Stockings by Schiaparelli. “To wear with self-holding leg band girdles without hooks, snaps or fasteners.” (Also in Coffee Bean, #889; 100% nylon, made in USA.) Still sealed in the original wrapped package — I just love the die-cut window.
I date them all to the early 1960s. (My camera apparently suffered some issues reading the shocking pink, but all packages are Schiaparelli hot pink; sorry about that.)
While the Schiaparelli hosiery I found aren’t as stunning as these bouquet stockings, I’m still happy with the “Shocking” delight of finding them.
See also: Judith Thurman’s piece on the fashion retrospective.