Wallis Simpson's Schiaparelli Lobster Dress Recreated


I've always been fascinated by the story of King Edward VIII's abdication. He and his American twice-divorced wife Wallis Simpson were ahead of their time - he as a moden monarch who fought with the establishment to update the traditions of the royal family in a post-WW1 Britain during his short reign, and she as a fiercly independent woman who shook the British Monarchy to it's core by capturing the heart of the heir to the throne.

While the Duke and Duchess are still highly controversial figures even 80 years after the abdication, and many details of their lives are still debated, one thing everyone can agree on is that they had incredible style. Both Wallis and Edward expressed themselves sartorially and their influence on the world of design continues to this day.

One of my favorite "Wallis" looks of all time has to be the Schiaparelli Lobster Dress created in collaboration with Salvador Dali circa 1935. Cecil Beaton shot her engagement photos in the dress at the Chateau de Cande for Vogue, iconic images which countless designers and contemporary labels have drawn inspiration from, including Tibi who did an adorable summer dress with a large lobster on the front, that I wore when I dressed up as the Duchess last year for Halloween.

Today the lobster motif is synonymous with the house of Schiaparelli, and it has been highlighted in their recent couture collections. Below is a peek at some of my favorite examples by Schiaparelli and the modern interpretations of Isaac Mizrahi and Miuccia Prada.

Wallis Simpson, photographed by Cecil Beaton for Vogue at the Chateau de Cande circa 1937:

Isaac Mizrahi's take on the dress, for a Wallis-inspired editorial titled 'The Great Pretender" captured by Karl Lagerfeld for The New York Times Magazine in 1993:

Anna Wintour paying tribute to Schiaparelli in a Prada lobster-motif dress for the 2012 Met Gala, where the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibition kicked off:

The lobster as interpreted by Bertrand Guyon for Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016:

Guyon's 2017 take on the Schiaparelli x Dali lobster dress for Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017.

#WallisSimpson #Schiaparelli #HauteCouture

© 2019 by KELLY CLAMAN CO. INC.

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