Schiaparelli, Scotland & Designer Uniform
talian fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli is best known for her hard to wear architectural clothes, being heavily influenced by Surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau. Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars with celebrated clients that included the heiress Daisy Fellowes and actress Mae West.
Schiaparelli’s love affair with Scotland came from her close friendship with Francis Farquharson, former editor of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines, and wife of the 16th laird Alwyne Compton Farquharson. The notorious couple lived in Braemar castle by the River Dee, where Schiaparelli visited them on many occasion. Schiaparelli’s warm and welcoming nature made her a very popular figure in the area, and she was known to get involved in community events.
Inspired by her time in Deeside, she would fashion striking garments from flamboyant tartans, beloved by Mrs Farquharson and regularly sported at public engagements in and around Braemar. Many of these fabulous outfits were bequeathed to Aberdeen Art Gallery upon her death in 1991.
Outside of the fashion world, Schiaparelli is most renowned for championing the colour pink, naming a rosy hue she particularly liked as “shocking pink”. The liking for pink rubbed off on Mrs Farquharson, who put her own stamp on Braemar Castle by painting walls vibrant pink, incorporating the punchy hue in everything from curtains to ceilings – and even her bathrooms. Unlike anything seen in the highlands before, there was such demand to capture a glimpse of the rosy rooms that the Farquharsons decided to open Braemar Castle to the public.
Bespoke uniform designer Studio 104’s recent collaboration with Braemar Castle’s latest occupants, Swiss art collectors and gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth, has drawn principal inspiration from this fabulous meeting between Farquharson & Schiaparelli in the early 20th Century. Described by the Financial Times as ‘Scotland’s hottest hotel’ the Fife Arms, located in the village of Braemar in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, is a Victorian coaching inn that has been imaginatively restored by the couple.
Studio 104 were given the very exciting opportunity to create a luxury uniform that was elegant, quirky and full of surprise. Translating the worlds of contemporary art & craft into a highly creative dialogue with the highlands local history, Scots Pine, Salmon, the River Dee and Grouse feathers.
Harking back to the inn’s Victorian heyday became the starting point, inspiring the distinctive Victorian aprons. Staying true to the inns Scottish Ancestry we incorporated the signature estate tweed and Fife tartan into the front of house design. To keep this iconic cloth feeling contemporary it is mixed with sartorial inspired graphic patterns and motifs. A distinctive pattern combined with expert tailoring to effectively match the cheque and tweed across all suiting.
Studio 104’s statement piece, the Argyle jacket and breeks were meticulously designed to be in line with Scottish tradition and look authentic. Our splendid collection embraces the owner’s decades-long dedication to contemporary art, combining with the beauty and heritage of the highlands with a contrasting effect famed by Farquharson & Schiaparelli. A designer uniform delivering a unique and transformative experience and an indelible impression on both the staff and guests.