We're just getting over the Met Gala rush, and, as the dust settles and the lines continue to hover around the museum entrance, we thought it high time to bring you a little Elsa Schiaparelli FYI. Yes, she was a fashion innovator and yes, she was a strong female figurehead. But, when you finally take that tour around the Met's Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition, you want to be able to pepper your friends with facts and live up to your status as the ultimate industry insider. So, as always, we got your back. Here are five reasons why Elsa's awesome (and five new ways to impress your peeps).
1. Schiaparelli's uncle, Giovanni Schiaparelli, discovered the "canali of Mars," long, narrow lines some later believed were artificially made by...unearthly life forms.
2. Rival Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel called her "that Italian artist who makes clothes." BURN.
3. She frequently collaborated with Surrealist Salvador Dalí to bring surrealism to fashion, and she was practically BFFs with Leonor Fini, Jean Cocteau, Meret Oppenheim, and Alberto Giacometti.
4. As just a young Schiap, Elsa retaliated against her parents when she was not invited to their dinner party by opening a jar of fleas under the table, which, natch, bit all of the guests' legs. Mr. and Mrs. Schiaparelli later sent her to a convent after she published a book of "sensual" and "risque" poems — lame!
5. She designed Zsa Zsa Gabor's outfits for Moulin Rouge (1952), but Marcel Vertes won the Oscar for designing the costumes for the other characters. Whatever, we don't see old Marcy getting his own Met exhibit or anything.
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, through August 19 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Special Exhibition Galleries, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street); 212-535-7710.
Photo: Time Life Pictures/Getty Images