Bloom

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As a little girl in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli was told she was not pretty. What is beauty Elsa wondered as she grew older. So she sought out beauty around her and found it everywhere: in the colors and scents of the Rome flower market, in the garden, and in the attic of her family home, buried in a chest of old dresses. She found affection from her dear uncle in Milano. “Voliamo,” said Uncle Giovanni. “Let’s fly!” And Elsa did fly! “Schiap,” as she later called herself, developed an artist’s eye and imagination. These bloomed in the wildly imaginative dresses, hats, shoes, and jewellery that made her an important name in fashion. Defining beauty on her own creative and rebellious terms was the key to Elsa Schiaparelli’s happiness and success-and is still seen today in her legacy of wild imagination. Daring and different, Elsa Schiaparelli used art to make fashion, and it was quite marvellous.