Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Plaid rayon crepe, blue plastic
Gift of Mrs. J.R. Keagy, 1974 (1974.338.5a,b)
Schiaparelli chose realistic beetles and other insects to decorate jewelry, buttons, and suit collars for her fall 1938 nature-based "Pagan" collection. The collection referenced the lush imagery of flora and fauna and mythological figures represented in two paintings by Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510), The Birth of Venus (ca. 1485) and Primavera (ca. 1482). The vividly printed rayon crepe and translucent blue plastic buttons are statements of Schiaparelli's preference for innovative manmade, rather than natural, materials.