Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Design House: House of Schiaparelli (French, founded 1928)

Date: fall 1938

Culture: French

Medium: rayon

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. J.R. Keagy, 1974

Accession Number: 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 the two great paintings by Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), "The Birth of Venus" (1485) and "Primavera" (1485). The vividly printed rayon crepe and translucent blue plastic buttons are statements of Schiaparelli's preference for manmade rather than natural materials.