This may be titled The Little Book of Schiaparelli, but like Mary Poppin’s carpet bag, it packs in much more than you would at first expect. From the outside it has a similar look to the sort of books which are given as gifts: they tend to look pretty but contain nothing very engaging. But this little tiger is jam-packed full of facts, stories, history, well chosen illustrations and old and new photographs.
The author is Emma Baxter-Wright, who previously wrote Vintage Fashion. Vintage Fashion is one of the best books on the subject I have read, so I knew when I saw her name on the cover that I would be in for a treat. Emma has clearly done a huge amount of research into Schiaparelli, but it is all very readable and interesting without ever becoming dry. The text is interspersed with gorgeous images that help to show the importance of Schiaparelli as an innovative designer, as well as being something lovely to drool over.
The book is nicely structured, starting with Elsa Schiaparelli’s own history, then discussing the evolution of her designs, her collaborations with artists such as Dali, her popularity with celebrity clients of the day, her post-war work (often overlooked), the creativity of her accessories, and finishing with her fragrances. Being a perfume fan I really appreciated the inclusion of this section.
I really can’t fault this little book; it is easy to read with loads of information and plenty of stunning images. 10/10 from me.
The Little Book of Schiaparelli by Emma Baxter-Wright can be found at any good book store, and has an RRP of £12.99.