Imagine “Top Gun” blasting through the grand halls of Paris Fashion Week, cowboys strutting in vinyl jackets adorned with silver buckles, and Ripley from “Alien” cradling a Swarovski-encrusted robot baby. Welcome to Daniel Roseberry’s breathtakingly surreal Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2024 collection, a stunning fusion of sci-fi fantasy, Western nostalgia and Parisian elegance.
Roseberry, a self-proclaimed movie buff, orchestrated a runway symphony of cultural influences. The show opened with a flourish, not of trumpets, but of the iconic 20th Century Fox fanfare, setting the stage for a cinematic adventure. “Alien” and “Oppenheimer” soundtracks pulsed through the air, punctuated by the majestic strains of Holst’s “Jupiter,” each note echoing Roseberry’s Texas roots and the cultural imprint of American designers at the helm of European fashion houses.
But this wasn’t just a tribute to cinema. It was a love letter to Elsa Schiaparelli’s spirit of bold juxtaposition. The collection opened with a series of otherworldly black silhouettes: a shiny vinyl jacket with inflated sleeves paired with cropped pants adorned with rows of cowboy buckles, channeling a “Matrix meets Westworld” vibe. Model Maggie Maurer, channeling Ripley in all her badass glory, cradled a Swarovski-encrusted robot baby, a nostalgic nod to pre-iPhone technology.
Roseberry’s genius lies in weaving his pop culture references into the rich tapestry of haute couture history. Hourglass waists reminiscent of Charles James adorned a nude satin bustier dress, while sculptural constructions echoed the avant-garde spirit of Cristóbal Balenciaga. Inspiration was even drawn from Azzedine Alaïa‘s private collection exhibition, influencing the predominantly neutral palette.
Amidst the showstoppers – dramatic face-covering gowns and a robot dress shimmering with electronic waste – were classic red-carpet gowns. A draped and knotted tank dress playfully embroidered with a trompe l’oeil outline of men’s underwear brought a touch of cheeky humor, while a pink satin puffball gown topped with an asymmetrical black jersey sweep gave a nod to René Gruau’s iconic Rouge Baiser illustration.
Roseberry didn’t forget the essence of haute couture – grand flou, the art of draping. With the retirement of a key member of the Schiaparelli atelier, this season was a celebration of her artistry, evident in flowing capes and intricately pleated gowns. It was a collection imbued with meaning, as Roseberry confided to Jennifer Lopez backstage, a testament to the deep respect and creative freedom he fosters within the house.
In a quiet moment backstage, Roseberry reflected on the age of AI, pondering the nature of creativity in the face of machine learning. He spoke of his reaction to online AI interpretations of his work, his voice ringing with both amusement and defiance. This, he explained, had led him to delve deeper into his own vulnerability, into the tender, childlike parts that make us uniquely human.
And that’s exactly what this collection delivers – a symphony of personal memories woven into the fabric of fashion history. It’s a retro-futuristic dream, a sci-fi western meets Old Hollywood glamour, where exoskeleton dresses and Giger-inspired bodices coexist with Balenciaga-esque capes and Saint Lauren-inspired jackets. It’s an homage to the handmade magic of haute couture, a defiant celebration of human artistry in the digital age. It’s Schiaparelli Spring/Summer 2024, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.