Dante’s Afternoon: Heart Evangelista Visits Inferno With Schiaparelli
Dante’s Afternoon: Heart Evangelista Visits Inferno With Schiaparelli

Dante’s Afternoon: Heart Evangelista Visits Inferno With Schiaparelli

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A study on Heart Evangelista’s first stop in Paris Haute Couture Week, Schiaparelli’s Inferno 

It’s the poem divided into three books that takes us to the journey of one’s exploration of self, acceptance, and hope. Three books that open us to the mind of a poet who conjures such vivid visions of the three realms; Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. It’s quite the story to follow as some might consider the first book horrific, but it’s also a literary masterpiece that ventures to ideas we know, but not comfortable enough to linger on. Though beyond the imagery, Daniel Roseberry came to a realization of what Dante Alighieri could’ve been bringing to light in his work—a tale of doubt. 

“This collection is my homage to doubt. The doubt of creation, and the doubt of intent.”

Daniel Roseberry

Comfort in doubt

Upon rereading the poet’s book, Daniel Roseberry became comfortable with the idea of doubt. Like Dante in Inferno, he faced countless ideologies that he once knew, yet was troubled with the little knowledge he truly possessed. As if all he knew in his life vanished before his eyes and he had to face such tribulations for rediscovery—a sentiment Daniel resonated with and a concept he connected with Elsa Schiaparelli. 

From an artist’s point of view, Daniel expressed how creatives often find themselves in a state of discomposure once they hit a wall of uncertainty. A flood of doubt comes rushing in as they shake the practices and techniques we’ve grown accustomed to. Moments like this bring Daniel to the core of the Maison, Elsa Schiaparelli’s unwavering pursuit to produce a fashion that is daringly unusual despite her fears and uncertainty. For Daniel, fear is a challenge one must overcome to create something new. 

The couture collection merges the concept of doubt from Daniel and the imagery Dante laid out in Inferno. Daniel ventures into a world of uncertainty with techniques he isn’t comfortable with to make the words of Dante tangible. He played with the idea of what is real in our eyes as he conjured up the character’s Dante faced in Inferno.

Three pieces from the collection find its form from Dante’s symbolism of the three beasts, the leopard as lust, the lion as pride, and the she-wolf as greed. The three beasts made an appearance on the runway, which was donned on the dress. Daniel blurred the lines of mimicry and reality with his use of in-hand sculpted foam, resin, wool and silk faux fur—all hand painted to make it seem life-like. 

Asides from the realistic animal heads, a line of bodice made its way down the runway that displayed Daniel’s need to surprise. It consisted of a bodice that was made of vintage mother of pearl with crystals finished with a pattern of waves, a velvet column dress that had hand-painted iridescent shimmer, and a giant copper bust that was made in four months. 

We view the journey of Dante through the lens of a spectator, the same concept applied onto those who sat down in Schiaparelli’s Inferno. One of the spectators in attendance was none other than the Filipina style setter, Heart Evangelista. She kept it clean and sleek as she arrived in a long black trench coat that featured minimal detailing such as the measuring lines by her right collar and the magenta lining of her coat. To finish off the look, she cinched up her waist with a belt adorned with a large gold emblem. 

RELATED: What to Wear to a Fashion Show According to Heart Evangelista

The collection became a symbol of two concepts Daniel had in mind: a representation of confrontation with doubt through his initiative to experiment uncharted techniques, and a love letter to Elsa Schiaparelli as he kept the late designer’s spirit alive with his designs that uphold the wonder the Maison will always have. 


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