A Conversation About “Elsa Schiaparelli’s Private Album”

Thursday, November 5, 2015
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“My grandmother was this incredibly inspiring person. She dressed women with personality who would dare to be different,” said Marisa Berenson last night at Sofitel New York. The author, actress, and model, was speaking about her late grandmother, legendary couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, at a Rendez-Vous conversation joined by her close and longtime friend, fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg.

The hour-long chat discussed Berenson’s new book, Elsa Schiaparelli’s Private Album (Published by Double-Barrelled Books) and the personal influence of the woman better known to her family and friends simply as “Schiap”. Yes, Schiaparelli was known for her invention of the “Shocking Pink” color and her fashion career jump started due to the attention of her quirky butterfly-bowed sweater designs—her style was eclectic, unique, and celebrated. But there was so much more to her life that was untold. In Berenson’s book, she shares never-before-published photos of her family and opens up about her beloved grandmother’s journey; from her early days growing up in Rome, to falling in and out of love, living as a single mother, and eventually discovering her true passion in couture-making.

Memories were reminisced throughout the evening, and guests engaged in questions while listening to the intriguing stories. “Schiap was modern and revolutionary. If she was back today, she would be so relevant,” said von Furstenberg. Talk about true staying power.

Photos by Aurora Rose/


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