surreally SYNCED

How one Texan’s drive for dreamy frocks is soaring at Maison Schiaparelli.


A few months before the pandemic, Daniel Roseberry, the Texas-born son of an Episcopal priest, was offered the dream role of artistic director at the Maison Schiaparelli. Talk about your “odd timing.” The creator was in his 10th-year tenure with Thom Browne in New York, with a job security and little left to prove. A few short years later, the 37-year-old charmer with serious design chops, is the most-talked-about name in the fashion industry. Just as the house’s founder Elsa Schiaparelli, who earned a reputation of the “designer-artist” by introducing fantastical collaborations with Salvador Dali (who can forget the lobster dress, a skeleton gown with figural boning, or signature outer zippers?) Roseberry sartorial take on the outrageous, such as disembodied anatomical parts, orbital gowns, and gilded metal bustier, is so aligned with the concept of wearable art.

With the appointment to the Maison, Roseberry instantly embarked on a journey of elevating and recoding the visual language of the house known for its style anchored in surrealism. Roseberry, who had big shoes to fill, quickly exceeded expectations. Unapologetic about his bold, extravagant design statements, he continues pushing the boundaries to what is “more interesting, not just beautiful,” says the designer, echoing the principles Schiaparelli used to live by.

Roseberry’s childhood dream of becoming a Disney World illustrator also plays into his creative process, build on sketching. Who could forget the runway show where he drew on the catwalk as models walked around? This collaborative and creative spirit permeates his atelier. Each member carries individual design out to the form, while Roseberry develops innovative techniques, including new materials such as gold leather, stretched, and molded over clay sculptures shown in the SS2022 couture collection. That collaborative energy was displayed the day I paid Roseberry a visit just before his last runway show, an opening act of the couture week and one of the most anticipated spectacles of the season. The Place Vendome sunlit headquarters were filled with the expectation of a grand reveal, while the front row stars’ fittings were in progress. The showroom was packed with the most sought-after evocative looks from previous collections; nearby tables were overflowing with eccentric, outrageous accessories, from earrings with locks or body parts, bags with faces to gloves with polished red fingernails. “Wonderland” was the word that came to mind. Just as unexpected was this extraordinary artist’s radiant smile and Southern hospitality palatable throughout the day that put everyone at ease.

Like any creative director of a successful brand, Roseberry is keen on Hollywood’s embrace of his vision. “Red carpet is beautiful but way too tasteful,” he says. His challenge of the aesthetic status quo brought him the attention of numerous A-listers. Without a doubt, Lady Gaga’s presidential inauguration gown, Kim Kardashian’s sculpted abs green dress (a tribute to the original Elsa’s skeleton gown), Julia Fox’s denim cone-bra jacket, or Doja Cat’s gilded pasties are the perfect examples of his celebrity reach. These jaw-pieces are about grandeur and fantasy.

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