Of Claws and Clothes

“Beauty should be edible, or not at all.”

Salvador Dalí

Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dalí, 1936

 
 

In 1936, Salvador Dali designed the Lobster telephone. By spring 1937, Italian fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli asked him to design a lobster as a decoration for a white organdy evening gown. And the dress was made famous when it appeared in Vogue modeled by Wallis Simpson. As an American Divorcee, Simpson gained notoriety when the Duke of Windsor chose to marry her in 1936 rather than become King of England.

The oversized lobster on this dress is strangely out of place on such a romantic and feminine gown. The odd juxtaposition between evening gown and sea creature was certainly not an accident. Many of Schiaparelli’s designs were both shocking and humorous.

 
 

 
 

Elsa Schiaparelli in her atelier

 
 

Lobster dress, in collaboration with Salvador Dali, 1937

 
 

Wallis Simpson. Photos: Cecil Beaton

 
 

Lobster, Andy Warhol, circa 1982

 
 

Isabella Blow at the American Embassy in Paris, 1998

 
 

Isabella Blow, in her lobster hat (by Erik Halley), at Julien MacDonald’s fashion show in London, 1998

 
 

Lobster Necklace by Erik Halley

 
 

Lady Gaga wearing a lobster hat designed by Philip Treacy in 2011

 
 

Lobster brooch by Tiffany and Co. which contains 200 pink sapphires and 61 spessartites in 18 karat gold. The lobster’s eyes are made from vivid emeralds and the antennae are sparkling diamonds. Summer 2009 collection.

 
 

Thom Browne Spring/Summer 2013

 
 

Tommy Hilfiger Short, Exploded Lobster Print Flat Front Short. 2013 Spring-Summer collection.

 
 

John Galliano Spring/Summer 2013 Menswear collection

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