STUNNING IN SCHIAPARELLI
Designer Elsa Schiaparelli was known for her eclecticism, for mixing the mundane with the luxurious, and for incorporating unconventional technologies
like zippers and rhinestones into her work (think an embroidered evening jacket with buttons that looked like locusts, or a gown where the metal zipper was
the focal point). The Italian-born “Schiap,” as she was referred to, was among the first to blur the lines between art and fashion. She began designing in Paris in the late ’20s and grew to become one of the most prominent designers in the ’30s, with a reign that extended until the mid-1950s. Her playfulness
extended to spectacles which were billed as a “new line of exclusive fashion for the well-dressed woman.” Pictured above left, a newly found photo dating
from 1955 of a young Alice (Beausoleil) Harvey. At age 17, she had just started an office job at American Optical and was asked to model one of its
famous Schiaparelli frames. Above right, Harvey today looking as stylish as ever.
Courtesy of the Optical Heritage Museum, opticalheritagemuseum.org.