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Schiaparelli, Elsa

Elsa Schiaparelli was a force in fashion. She came to Paris from Rome looking for a better life, and ended up bettering the whole world. She started in knits... cute little sweaters and sets for the "modern woman" but soon she expanded to dresses and became the toast of Paris. Her friendships with the great artists of her time heavily influenced her styles, sometimes, surreal, usually whimsical and more often then not, sexy. World War II forced her to shut her doors, but soon they reopened, with a more efficient, less eccentric mode. Elsa was a great marketer, and sold herself as well as her designs. Her perfumes and jewelry was immensely popular, but you could find the name Schiaparelli endorsing items from electric lamps to salad dressing.