Four portraits by Man Ray:
A poem by Jean Arp
I was alone with a chair on a plain
Which lost itself in an empty horizon.
The plain was flawlessly paved.
Nothing, absolutely nothing but the chair and I
The sky was forever blue,
No sun gave life to it.
An inscrutable, insensible light
illuminated the infinite plain.
To me this eternal day seemed to be projected —
artificially– from a different sphere.
I was never sleepy nor hungry nor thirsty,
never hot nor cold.
Time was only an abstruse ghost
since nothing happened or changed.
In me Time still lived a little
This, mainly, thanks to the chair.
Because of my occupation with it
I did not completely
lose my sense of the past.
Now and then I’d hitch myself, as if I were a horse, to the chair
and trot around with it,
sometimes in circles,
and sometimes straight ahead.
I assume that I succeeded.
Whether I really succeeded I do not know
Since there was nothing in space
By which I could have checked my movements.
As I sat on the chair I pondered sadly, but not desperately,
Why the core of the world exuded such black light.
Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) was the first designer to explore irony in fashion. She stands out for her sense of humour and wild imagination, which have made her one of the most influential fashion designers of her time. Schiaparelli’s designs are not only humorous but also thought provoking. She was, above all, an artist. Coco Chanel –her biggest rival– referred to her as ‘that Italian artist who makes clothes’.
Modern art, particularly Surrealism and Dadaism, were a great source of inspiration to her and she did many collaborations with artists of these movements, including Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau.
The Tears Dress, one of her collaborations with Dalí, is a beautiful evening gown in pale blue and magenta. The fabric is a trompe l’oeil print of rips and tears, designed to give the illusion of torn animal flesh worn inside out.
This year Christian Lacroix will be unveiling the 15-piece collection which he’s designed for the house of Schiaparelli in honor of her legacy. His designs wil be reinterpretations of her most famous creations, so it should definitely be something to look out for!