Italian Women on Beauty: 2 Things to Learn From Elsa Schiaparelli

Italian Women on Beauty: 2 Things to Learn From Elsa Schiaparelli

One cannot simply define Italy without revering Italian beauty and lifestyle. From Venice to Sicily, Florence and Rome, you’ll discover people of diverse cultures and influences; but with one goal — to achieve “la vita bella” (the beautiful life).

The Wonders of Italian Culture and Lifestyle

What can be sweeter and more meaningful than savoring life’s greatest pleasures? And if you’re after the art of slow and simple living. This European gem has everything you need to worry less, avoid stress, and live in the moment with art, food and wine, cinema, music, history, fashion, and style. 

You can learn countless pieces of life-changing wisdom from living in Italy but, in general. It’s all about appreciating what you have and making the most out of every waking moment. Also here, what matters most are strong family values, nature and outdoor adventures, and natural, authentic, and locally sourced cuisines.

Among the many reasons why Italian culture stands out is it perceives beauty in all its glory. Moreover, keeping a la bella figura, which means “a beautiful figure,” is the Italian philosophy that goes beyond looking the part. It’s a way of life that focuses on effortless elegance, good behavior and etiquette, and a great public image.

Hence, Italians don’t have to spend a fortune to look sharp. But they go above and beyond when choosing the right clothes, color, and accessories to dress perfectly for any occasion. Mediocrity is never encouraged — one must keep up a polished look to make a good impression.

Elsa Schiaparelli: The Epitome of Italian Beauty

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Italian women are not one to back down when it comes to breaking traditional notions of beauty. And one can’t simply talk about Italian beauty —with all its awe and eccentricities — without mentioning the marvelous work of fashion designer extraordinaire Elsa Schiaparelli.

Schiaparelli started a quest to reinvent beauty, and her wild imagination ended up transforming the way women dress and revolutionizing the face of fashion for the modern world. 

Schiaparelli differentiated herself from other influential designers of her time by combining her unique sensibility and a bold, whimsical approach. Hence, early on, she was fascinated by the idea of what makes something beautiful. From the little girl in Rome who felt “brutta” (ugly). Also, she nurtured her wild imagination and discovered her brand of beauty that captivated and shocked fashionistas from all over the globe.

Also Check: “How to Stay Fashionable on a Budget

Here are two things we know, and love, about Elsa Schiaparelli.

1. Simplicity and intricacy can be rolled into one

One thing that Schiaparelli teaches women about beauty is that it is boundless — a woman can sit still in a parlor looking pretty or play an intense game of tennis and still look ethereal. Also, she created a wide-ranging collection of authentic designs for women of all types: linen dresses and evening wear, divided skirts, bathing suits, beach pajamas, ski wear, accessories, and more.  

Schiaparelli turned even the simplest, most mundane everyday objects into something extraordinary and magical. For her, wandering and doing nothing are privileges that “make the taste of living so much more pungent and complete.” 

It was her fascination with flowers  — and all their dazzling streams of colors, smells, and shapes — that inspired her to express her imagination in the way she dressed herself and the countless women who admired her stunning work.

2. Women are brave, daring, and unstoppable 

When it comes to beauty, Schiaparelli was unrelenting in her refusal to conform to the standards of the world. Instead, she let her creativity flourish and showcased her strong and independent personality through her sensational designs.

Even without a professional background in tailoring and fashion, Schiaparelli opened her first shop at the age of 37; and went on to conquer the fashion world with her wit, grit, and resilience. 

She was not afraid to play with all types of fabrics, textures, and hues and will not hesitate to combine the strangest of materials. Her ingenious idea of adorning black sweaters with surrealist white trompe l’oeil scarf at the neck was her trademark that catapulted her to fame and success.

Schiaparelli was all for the notion that comfort and practicality should be woven into the design of women’s clothing; but she rebelled against using muted color palettes. Her audacity was seen in the ways she mixed the brightest of colors and even created her signature shade “shocking pink.”

Schiaparelli was undoubtedly on a league of her own, but she was a true believer in the beauty of collaborations. She is well-known for joining creative forces with friend and fellow artist Salvador Dali. Together, they worked on some of that era’s most exquisite, original, and outrageous creations: a shoe on the head as a hat, an evening gown painted with trompe l’oeil rips and tears, a white silk gown with a painting of a large lobster on the skirt, and a black gown that featured padded pieces to represent bones. 

The Beauty of It All

Schiaparelli’s flair for design and penchant for bizarre, dream-like creations won the hearts of women worldwide. Her unprecedented success and lasting influence on beauty continue to shape avant-garde fashion as it is today. And inspires aspiring fashion business owners to break the mold and be different.

Ever the unconventional fashion designer that she was, Schiaparelli is among the roster of the greatest creative minds to ever come from Italy. Her reputation for grace under pressure and an unapologetic yet astounding personality ignited a flurry of excitement; and liberated women from stereotypes that have prevented them from truly being able to express. 

Schiaparelli lived “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) and stayed true to the Italian practice of being entirely present in every moment. She did not think twice about leveraging opportunities to indulge her passion for the essence of beauty. And willingly shared her designs so that other people can experience and enjoy them.

From speaking her mind to appreciating the simple things and pursuing those that matter most in life, Schiaparelli’s example is one for women to emulate. Life is too short to be limited by decades-old conventions. Like Schiaparelli, every woman deserves that chance to be unique and revolutionary in their own right.