Surrealism, which was the greatest art movement of the 20th century, exerted influence on every aspect of the age. Its impact was felt deep within consciousness, extending beyond the bounds of expression. In the world of fashion, brand new ideas that had absorbed the influence of Surrealism were realized thanks to the awareness of several outstanding creators who, anticipating the image of a new era, reflected the spirit of the age while producing innovative fashion that overlapped with the Surrealists ideals.
One of these designers was Elsa Schiaparelli, who had friends amongst the Surrealists. She proactively incorporated the sensibility of writers who had been deployed in creating Surrealist paintings and objects into the world of fashion. Schiaparelli created a lot of unique jewelry that bore resemblance to the paintings of Salvador Dali, from whom she drew inspiration.
Conversely, the Surrealists drew inspiration from items of clothing and accessories such as coats, dresses, hats, walking sticks and gloves, which provided the stimulus for numerous art works that included paintings, photographs and objects. The opportunities presented by the unique expressive power of Surrealism continue to influence today’s fashion world, with Surrealism inspired designs such as a hat in the shape of a shoe motif and garments bearing trompe l’oeil-like illustration.
This exhibition also focuses on a group of works that share Surrealist sensibilities. With what, to us today, seem bizarre notions as a theme, it presents wide-ranging displays, from historic fashion plates from the seventeenth century to contemporary art. With the influence of Surrealism on fashion as one perspective, it explores the expressive beauty that generated, through its free creative power and unique ideas, sensations in the fashion world.