The spring 2021 couture season followed two unforgettable looks from Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli. First, there was Kim Kardashian West’s Incredible Hulk–inspired holiday dress, which was composed of a glittering green breastplate and draped satin skirt, paired with the brand’s signature door knocker earrings. Then, the Texas-born Roseberry dressed Lady Gaga in a surreally large architectural gown for her performance of the national anthem at the 2021 inauguration, worn with an equally massive dove brooch, meant to symbolize peace.
Roseberry’s knack for redefining what one expects women to wear (and when) was evident in this collection. The designer sought to break down couture’s long-standing, borderline misogynistic codes; Roseberry’s couture isn’t fragile; adjectives like frothy, frilly, and dainty aren’t in the designer’s vernacular. That fresh take meant fewer gowns and more separates such as trousers, bomber jackets, bodysuits featuring motifs, and techniques that were no less artful, but far less conventionally, inoffensively pretty. Corsetry was translated into warrior-like breastplates that honored the female form, and a fuchsia minidress went as far as to define muscular arms with toned biceps and triceps.
There was also streamlined eveningwear. Read: not poofy. Some detailed the body, while others were designed to allow a woman to move and breathe freely, including a pink pleated blouson gown held up by straps. The bijoux were no less bold—think gold fingernail rings, nose ring closures, gold tooth accents, and a minaudiére designed to honor the house’s signature padlock. —Carrie Goldberg