Although not the most frequently noted Elsa of avant-garde fashion—designer Elsa Schiaparelli, collaborator of both Dali and Giacometti, is endlessly cited as an inspiration by everyone from Dolce and Gabbana to Lanvin—the obscure but influential Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is certainly a worthy peer. Freytag-Loringhoven was to Dadaism what Schiaperelli was to surrealism: a muse, a feminine counterpart, a creator of unwearable fashions and striker of inimitable poses. She fascinated Man Ray and provoked Duchamp: Some say her scatological humor was an inspiration for Duchamp's Fountain.
Maybe it's because the New York Times cast Brittany Murphy as the Dada artist in a 2002 shoot flush with Dolce and Gabbana that the Baroness has been continually over-looked. Both spring and fall drew inspiration from pre-Depression era looks, with Prada's flapper slips or Louis Vuitton's bohemian feather-dresses. There was a touch of hysteria, and an awareness of how absurd this decadence seems amidst a worldwide recession. Maison Martin Margiela tackled the same problem with a spring couture collection made entirely of refuse - do we hear shower curtin rustling?
For fall in Milan, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada took Elsa's signature birdcage as a design cue. But as I scanned images of Viktor and Rolf's futuristic spring collection, Marisa stopped me on a particularly graphic, deco-flavored look to remark that V&R had taken a page directly out of the Baroness' book. Ripe for Hollywood (bio pic, anyone?), the Baroness feels more relevant than ever. Designers might well invoke her for a chance for reinvention—or even the sublime.Para ver todas las fotos de todos los diseñadores a los que nombra pinchar enlace.... Prometo traducción esta misma tarde...