Elsa Schiaparelli

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The Italian-born French couturière Elsa Schiaparelli, who rose to prominence in the early 1900s, became famous for many things, but mostly her use of the color pink and sense of whimsy. Starting with knitwear, Schiaparelli's designs were heavily influenced by Surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau. Schiaparelli decides to close her Couture House in 1954 after filing for bankruptcy and devotes herself to her autobiography Shocking life. Schiaparelli retired, spending most of her time in Tunisia, where she had built a home. She died in Paris at the age of eighty-three. The esteemed fashion house, which once rivaled Coco Chanel, is being revived since its 2007 purchase by the head of Tod's Group, Diego Della Valle. In 2012 followed the reopening of the Couture House at Hôtel de Fontpertuis, 21 place Vendôme, in the very place where Elsa left it. Farida Khelfa is appointed ambassador for the House. In that same year opens the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A tribute to Elsa in a unique Haute Couture collection is designed by Monsieur Christian Lacroix in 2013. In January 2014, the first Haute Couture runway show since 1954, is presented during Paris Haute Couture week.