Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
by Kyo Maclear (Author) and Julie Morstad (Illustrator)

Booktalk: By the 1930s Elsa Schiaparelli (SKYAP-a-relli) had captivated the fashion world in Paris, but before that, she was a little girl in Rome who didn’t feel pretty at all. This picture book biography is the story of how a young girl used her imagination and emerged from plain to extraordinary.

As a young girl in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) felt “brutta” (ugly) and searched all around her for beauty. Seeing the colors of Rome’s flower market one day, young Elsa tried to plant seeds in her ears and nose, hoping to blossom like a flower. All she got was sick, but from that moment, she discovered her own wild imagination.

In the 1920 and ’30s, influenced by her friends in the surrealist art movement, Schiaparelli created a vast collection of unique fashion designs–hats shaped like shoes, a dress adorned with lobsters, gloves with fingernails, a dress with drawers, and so many more. She mixed her own bold colors and invented her own signature shades, including shocking pink.

Snippet:  Every story starts somewhere.

My story begins on September 10, 1890, in a beautiful palazzo in the center of Roma. That’s in Italy.

Imagine a quiet room. Imagine a newborn baby looking up to see her pappa frowning, her mamma frowning.

Disappointed that I am not a boy, they have no name for me! They borrow a name from a nurse. Elsa.

They say it like this: El-za.


Now I am frowning.

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.