Gabrielle Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli both had enormous influence in all the spheres in which they orbited, and both left a permanent mark on the taste of our time. Elsa, nicknamed Schiap, was truly grand; her mother was a Neapolitan aristocrat, her father a renowned scholar and bibliophile. From childhood, Schiaparelli browsed through the priceless illuminated manuscripts curated by her father, developing a lifetime passion for the makers of fine art, many of whose talents she employed in the magnificent fashion house she created at an early age. Schiap started her career in New York, and, during the Jazz Age, she opened a small shop near the Place Vendome where she sold her first collection devoted to sportswear, then all the rage for liberated women. Inspired by the geometrical vocabulary of art deco and cubism, taking advantage of the flexibility of new synthetic fibers, and inspired by the paintings of Picasso, Braque, and Mondrian, Schiap created a sensation. Schiap's career didn't really survive World War II, since a shattered public was no longer in tune with the eccentricities of the Jazz Age. Schiap's comet-like appearance remains a main event of fashion history and is succinctly and elegantly documented in this book.