Daniel Roseberry, the 33-year-old Texan that’s newly installed at the helm of Schiaparelli, has said of his new post to The New York Times’s Vanessa Friedman: “I wanted to respond by embracing the joy of fashion while keeping it real, because fashion is essentially a service profession. This was my proposal for the brand: ‘No nostalgia. No lips. No hands.’” (And noticeably, no lobsters.)
The collection was striking, even though, as Friedman pointed out in her review, “it was his first show as an artistic director, he had never worked with a couture atelier before, even though he had only two months to put it together, even though he does not speak French, and even though he was the first American at the head of a French couture house in the modern era.”
This triumph flies in the face of conventional wisdom - that one’s experience, nationality, knowledge, or “familiarity with the codes” really matters. That’s the old way.
For example, why keep lobsters, just to respect the heritage of the house, if lobsters don’t resonate with modern women? (Well, perhaps a pre-A Star is Born Lady Gaga, but that’s just showmanship.)
The silhouettes were beautifully surreal, grand, and glamorous in way one imagines that Elsa would have loved. There were sharp contrasts of beautiful off-the-shoulder billowy sleeves atop pencil-silhouettes, and many dazzling bejewelled accents. Perhaps Roseberry, the “unknown” millennial from Texas will put Schiaparelli, and himself, more firmly on the map.
This successful couture collection taps into a wider societal question, especially while we increasingly reconsider what makes someone qualified to do a job. Whether political, such as the claims against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not being qualified for Congress for a number of superficial reasons, or in fashion, where we love to say things like "women design best for other women”, when there is no basis to this claim. It’s not about gender, age, or origin. It’s simply about merit, emotion, and authenticity. That’s the millennial way.