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the surreal deal

Texas-born and tailoring-trained, Daniel Roseberry is perhaps Paris’s most unlikely candidate for a couturier. And yet, says Chloe Street, he’s doubtless the most exciting designer in town

‘I want to be the alt couture house, the really alternative destination for surreal, twisted luxury,’ says Schiaparelli artistic director Daniel Roseberry, as he shows me his latest outré creation for the storied French couturier.

The item we’re admiring at the brand’s light-filled Maison on Paris’s Place Vendôme is from the SS22 ready-to-wear collection, and it’s a bijou difficult to name. A vast, golden breastplate-cum-necklace consisting of a chunky golden chain with a true-to-size rhinestone-embellished ear attached, from which is suspended a navel-grazing, body-moulded plate of resin. ‘It’s the perfect piece of Schiaparelli jewellery that everyone will scream for,’ says the 36-year-old American designer excitedly.

Among those screaming might be Lady Gaga, who wore a Schiaparelli gown with a golden dove brooch to the inauguration of US President Joe Biden and features on the covers of November’s Italian and December’s British Vogue wearing the label’s black crepe bodycon dress exploding at the side with giant gold lamé sleeves.

Or maybe Bella Hadid, whom Roseberry recently dressed for the 74th Cannes Film Festival in an avant-garde black wool maxi dress with a cleavage-baring neckline covered by a vast golden necklace replicating the bronchi passage of lungs. Or perhaps it’s one for Cardi B, who took to the streets of Paris in September wearing a tweed Schiaparelli jacket with inbuilt golden conical breastplates and a gigantic, flame-like golden headpiece that doubled as sunglasses.

‘When I started they said make a list of who you want to dress, because we knew we wanted to take red carpet seriously. Cardi B was one of the first on my list, because she’s creating culture, because she’s completely in control of her own iconography and because she has charm for days,’ says Roseberry, who took the helm of Schiaparelli in 2019 and in the two and a half short years since has succeeded, amid a pandemic, in positioning the heritage couture house firmly at the vanguard of contemporary cool. ‘It’s the intersection of US pop culture mixed with Parisian traditions — that’s the secret sauce.’

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