Manchester Art Gallery

Schiaparelli and Thirties Fashion

One of the most celebrated fashion designers of the middle twentieth century.

Gallery of Costume
Saturday 2 January 2016–Sunday 23 October 2016

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) is celebrated for her creativity both as an artist and as a fashion designer. Her love of bold designs led Chanel to question her skills in fashion, calling her ‘that Italian artist who makes dresses’. This is not untrue as she had a flair for memorable ‘artistic’ clothes, which were popular with flamboyant clients – women such as Marlene Dietrich or Wallis Simpson (Duchess of Windsor). She is certainly one of the most celebrated fashion designers of the middle twentieth century, and one of the few outstanding women couturiers.

We are showing a small selection of iconic Schiaparelli outfits against a backdrop of other thirties fashion, outfits which might well have been influenced by her prominent designs. The display includes 25 figures in three main themes: the shape of fashion, dramatic thirties prints,  and bold embroidery and embellishment so typical of  Schiaparelli and her contemporaries.


Images courtesy Kerry Taylor Auctions


This display is at Platt Hall Gallery of Costume

Platt Hall
M14 5LL

Tel: 0161 245 7245

Opening hours

We are open Thursday and Friday 1-5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm