Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Not on view
Schiaparelli's fall 1938 pagan collection dazzled her clients and the fashion press with references to spring eternal throughout. The collection was studded with flowers, insects, and as seen in this necklace, foliage. This outrageous design has a sinister aspect to the leaf forms, in keeping with Schiaparelli's interest in Surrealist art. Although the forms are plainly leaves, the jagged, sharp edges lead one to question if they reference a darker meaning. At first glance, the leaves appear uniform, but each piece is individually varied, evidencing high-quality custom work, particularly the central element that has a distinct biomorphic presence.
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