OLIVIER ZAHM — Daniel, what does it mean to offer today to the world surrealist and eccentric fashion, in a time when streetwear and sportswear dominate the aesthetic ?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — I grew up in Plano, Texas, and I’ve always been inspired and driven by the fact that the world around me did not look like the world that I have in my head. This disparity between my imagination and my fantasy life versus reality and the not-so-beautiful parts of my everyday surroundings — my work is trying to reconcile those two things. As the world is going to shit, people have an appetite for a parallel reality.
OLIVIER ZAHM — People are craving to be transported somewhere else?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — Exactly. If I had made these collections eight years ago, I don’t know if the world would be responding to them in the way it has.
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, extravagant and surreal fashion are a kind of escape.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — Escape is good. Denial, I think, is one step further. You plug your ears, and you shut your eyes, and you want to live… It’s in a meta world of fantasy and innocence.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Fantasy also gives you a lot of freedom.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — There’s so much freedom at Schiaparelli, particularly to explore fantasy and Surrealism. When I started at Schiaparelli, no one was writing about Surrealism and fashion. Now, there are often articles about Surrealism and jewelry and fashion on the runway. And Elsa Schiaparelli was the master of this aesthetic.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What does Surrealism mean to you?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — I think it was Georges Braque who said that in the space between reality and dreaming is the Surrealist.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Is it about discovering the intersection between dream and reality?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — It’s when you’re about to fall asleep, and your brain starts put- ting together ideas. It’s a free association that’s unconscious, intuitive, and childlike. That’s how I think about Surrealism: it’s non-verbal communication on the subconscious level. And when I see the way people have visceral responses to the intensely surreal and the physical elements of the collection — I know that there’s a subconscious attraction to that visual language.
OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s so personal because it connects with an unconscious part of yourself.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — Completely. The strongest work comes from the most personal parts of me and from the things that inspire me, my memories and putting them in the context of couture… That’s the winning combination. And that’s what Elsa Schiaparelli did, too, as an Italian from a completely different world… Her strongest work was profoundly personal.
OLIVIER ZAHM — You come from a religious family, so is there a world behind the world?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — I think so. For people who are raised in the Church, the moment you move away, you learn to hide parts of yourself because they’re not really accepted in New York, for example. Going to fashion school, I was not advertising a lot about my life. And it was the same growing up: I hid my sexuality from my family until I was 23. It can be both painful and incredibly inspiring to have those secrets that you keep to yourself.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Are secrets inspiring for a designer?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — I think the power of having secrets is remarkable.
OLIVIER ZAHM — I wanted to ask you about the dark side of Elsa Schiaparelli. She was married to a psychic, liked obscure references, and studied the Kabbalah. Do you also embrace that darker side?
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — Growing up in the Church, you are programmed to think that you are a broken, sinful person without any ability to improve yourself or your life outside of God’s help. So, coming to terms with your own darkness is something I’ve been taught from a young age. It’s never been a problem for me. The difference is that Christianity wants to wash the darkness away all the time.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Your work blurs the lines between fashion and jewelry. In a way, it echoes what’s coming from the digital world, where virtual clothes are just decorative and ornamental.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — In every collection, we have a category that we call “Body Bijoux.” When I started here, I did not want to do crazy embroidery — it’s something that big couture houses with bigger budgets and teams can do. They can do embroidery for thousands of hours. But I wanted to fuse jewelry with clothing.
OLIVIER ZAHM — And you did this in an audacious way.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — The answer was to create huge jewelry that could become more important, more powerful than the dress itself. We also started to reverse the creative process, designing the look around the jewelry, not the jewelry to accessorize the look.
OLIVIER ZAHM — It gives your collection a physicality, with the presence of the body, an external armor. An exoskeleton. And it comes back to Schiaparelli herself and her obsession with the lobster. Maybe that’s what we need in fashion today: an external skeleton, as we are becoming more and more fragile.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — A lot of people have talked to me about armor. For me, it’s the opposite, and more about exposure than hiding. It’s more about vulnerability. The human tendency is to protect, but I actually think there’s strength in being vulnerable. And the fact that the body pieces are your naked body exposed and glorified to the level of jewelry is, to me, more interesting than the idea of armor.
OLIVIER ZAHM — It could be a symbolic armor.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — A psychological armor.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Yes, that empowers the woman.
DANIEL ROSEBERRY — For sure.
[Table of contents]
elein fleiss (part 0)Read the article
martin margiela (part 1)Read the article
martin margiela collages for purple 30yrsRead the article
wolfgang tillmans (part 2)Read the article
rick at home rick owens 2022Read the article
purple community (part 3)Read the article
comme des garçons (part 4)Read the article
black rose comme des garçons f/w 2022
by chikashi suzuki
purple tokyo (part 5)Read the article
tateishi east tokyo givenchy f/w 2022Read the article
purple new york (part 6)Read the article
guinevere in prada f/w 2022Read the article
chloë sevigny (part 7)Read the article
chloë’s scene, 2022 interview by olivier zahmRead the article
maurizio cattelan (part 8)Read the article
maurizio cattelan purple interviewRead the article
bernadette corporation (part 9)Read the article
speaking out bernadette van-huyRead the article
dominique gonzalez-foerster (part 10)Read the article
species of spaces dominique gonzalez-foerster interview by olivier zahmRead the article
rita ackermann (part 11)Read the article
inez van lamsweerde & vinoodh matadin (part 12)Read the article
final fantasy inez & vinoodhRead the article
purple night (part 13)Read the article
doppelgänger fendi f/w 2022Read the article
glenn o’brien (part 14)Read the article
dash snow (part 15)Read the article
long live dash by glenn o’brienRead the article
juergen teller (part 16)Read the article
balenciaga winter 2022Read the article
purple sex (part 17)Read the article
emporio armani f/w 2022Read the article
purple politics (part 18)Read the article
on war and its dehumanization bernard-henri lévyRead the article
purple paris (part 19)Read the article
3537 a new fashion lab in the heart of paris adrian joffeRead the article
daniel roseberry the american designer reinventing schiaparelli surrealismRead the article
purple icon (part 20)Read the article
catherine deneuve in saint laurent f/w 2022Read the article
purple cinema (part 21)Read the article
philippe parrenoRead the article
david lynchRead the article
larry clarkRead the article
wes andersonRead the article
harmony korineRead the article
gaspar noéRead the article
Gus Van SantRead the article
abel ferraraRead the article
mamoru oshiiRead the article
kenneth angerRead the article
los angeles (part 22)Read the article
wilderness doug aitkenRead the article
gucci cosmogonie collectionRead the article
how to inhabit the world (part 23)Read the article
louis vuitton F/W 2022 with akon changkouRead the article
purple diversity (part 24)Read the article
bombshell ethan james greenRead the article
purple mexico city (part 25)Read the article
deconstruction meets destruction azzmmaRead the article
arca in loewe F/W 2022Read the article
art as a script mario garcía torresRead the article
inge grognard (part 26)Read the article
beauty revolutionary inge grognardRead the article
avant-garde (part 27)Read the article
louise giovanelliRead the article
george rouyRead the article
stefan brüggemannRead the article
antony cairnsRead the article
antonia showeringRead the article
arthur jafa in conversation with michéle lamyRead the article
purple philosophy (part 28)Read the article
women and painting (part 29)Read the article
women and painting: part 1Read the article
women and painting: part 2Read the article
women and painting: part 3Read the article
women and painting: part 4Read the article
women and painting: part 5Read the article
women and painting: part 6Read the article
women and painting: part 7Read the article
women and painting: part 8Read the article
women and painting: part 9Read the article
women and painting: part 10Read the article
women and painting: part 11Read the article
women and painting: part 12Read the article
women and painting: part 13Read the article
richard prince (part 30)Read the article