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A rare Elsa Schiaparelli evening jacket, Autumn-Winter 1937-38. Photo Kerry Taylor Auctions.

similar to the one she wore for her photographic portrait by Horst P Horst for Vogue in 1937, un-labelled, of black velvet, the front opening with eight looped fasteners and corresponding pink glass bunch of grape droplets, two further decorative droplets to the left front hem and three to the right hem, Lesage embroidered with broad metal strip and finer gilt cord and applied with layers of small cast gilt metal vine leaves, concealed pockets to the front below the lower vine leaf clusters, padding to the shoulders, lead weights to hem, bust 86cm, 34in

Women’s Wear Daily on August 5th, 1937, described this collection as ‘full of modern baroque whimsy’. This is a shorter, simplified version of the jacket worn by Schiaparelli for her portrait by Horst; for that occasion she accessoried it with a towering, undulating hat. The decoration, buttons and embroidery are identical. It differs only in that this example does not have long pendant front pockets – but small concealed ones, hidden behind the embroidery near the front waist area. Also the braid stops and returns at the base of the front opening rather than continuing all the way round the back. It is an extremely rare jacket and obviously was a favourite design of Schiap’s as she chose it for the Vogue portrait. This photograph was used on the cover of a Christie’s auction catalogue of Elsa Schiaparelli’s personal effects, Paris 2013.

Kerry Taylor Auctions. Jun 24, 2014. 249 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR, United Kingdom