In his year and a half at Schiaparelli, Daniel Roseberry has staked a strong claim for himself as a red carpet designer. The short-in-front, long-in-back sapphire gown from his spring 2020 couture collection, chosen by Regina King for the Emmys, was the biggest coup of that night, a star-making moment even if the step-and-repeat was set up in her own backyard. (The broadcast was completely digital, due to covid-19 restrictions.) When King accepted her lead actress award for her role in Watchmen, she was wearing a T-shirt honoring Breonna Taylor with a shocking pink Schiap pantsuit. “I get goosebumps thinking about it; it was such an honor,” Roseberry said, remembering her speech. “It’s a rare moment when fashion takes on bigger meaning.”
Roseberry’s flair for the fantastic absolutely jibes with Schiaparelli’s aesthetic. His job with ready-to-wear is to negotiate the balance between the Surrealism that was the legendary designer’s signature and the everyday. Let’s just say that this season he didn’t skimp on what he’s previously called “psycho chic” daywear. Speaking over Zoom, he said he approached the new collection with “a renewed energy to focus on what I want to say here, to capture the irony and what Schiap was about. Her legacy still lives really large, and it feels really true to this moment.” The pandemic has upended fashion. Some designers and brands are sitting this season out or playing it extra safe, counting on pajama sets and tracksuits to carry them through. Not Roseberry.
In the look book photos he took, and in the behind-the-scenes video the brand produced, that extroversion comes across most distinctly in Roseberry’s fabulous gilded bijoux: eyeglasses with enamel eyes in the center, masks that cover nose and mouth, fingertip talons, and even nipple buttons. But the clothes are nearly as provocative. See: the white button-down with hand-painted breasts on the front, the odalisque prints on a shocking pink and white pantsuit (studies of Manet and Degas that Roseberry did himself), and the broderie anglaise with Surrealist faces picked out. There’s also a pair of minidresses, one ivory, the other black, with big inverted volumes à la Regina King. Roseberry took no half measures with this collection, and in this time of uncertainty and anxiety, that kind of conviction is a real turn-on.