Wallis Simpson Wearing the Lobster Dress (1937)

During the 1930s, Wallis Simpson was a frequent subject of Cecil Beaton’s photographs.

Shortly before Wallis’s marriage to the Duke of Windsor in May 1937, Cecil Beaton was asked to take some official photographs of the bride-to-be at the Château de Candé, where she was staying as a guest of Charles Bedeaux.

Since many of the past photographs of Simpson were unflattering, Beaton had a bright idea and suggested more romantic-looking pictures, including an image of her standing in the château’s garden wearing the Schiaparelli Lobster dress. The infamous lobster dress was a design collaboration with Salvador Dalí that grew out of the lobsters that started appearing in the artist’s work in 1934.

Beaton took almost a hundred photographs during the session with Simpson, and Vogue devoted an eight-page spread to the results (source).

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 Wallis Simpson in the infamous Schiaparelli dress decorated in the Dali lobster print by Cecil Beaton, 1937

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 Wallis Simpson in the infamous Schiaparelli dress decorated in the Dali lobster print by Cecil Beaton, 1937 via

A Collection of Vintage Photos of 1930s Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli couldn’t sew and she didn’t sketch, yet she stormed Paris fashion in the 1920s and 1930s.  Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars.

While her contemporaries Chanel and Vionnet set the period’s standards of taste and beauty in fashion design, Schiaparelli flouted convention in the pursuit of a more idiosyncratic style. Her designs were heavily influenced by Surrealists and she Invented the power shoulders, the wedge shoes, the jumpsuit, and the color shocking pink and inspired a generation of unconventional couturiers. Of her contemporaries she described Chanel as “that milliner”, while Chanel once dismissed her rival as ‘that Italian artist who makes clothes”.

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Elsa Schiaparelli, 1930’s via

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Comtesse de Zoppola in Elsa Schiaparelli, photographed by Edward Steichen, 1931 via

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Elsa Schiaparelli & Salvador Dali, Shoe-Hat, 1937/ 1938, wearing by Gala. Photo by André Caillet Fils, c. 1930s via

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A model in a Schiaparelli design, 1934 via

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The actress Ginger Rogers wearing Schiaparelli’s black velvet “Galyak” coat, 1937 via

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Marlène Dietrich in Elsa Schiaparelli evening dress, 1930s via
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Mae West in ‘Everyday’s a Holiday’, Elsa Schiaparelli designed her outfit, 1938 via

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Elsa Schiaparelli, dress and silver gloves, 1939 via

Vintage Photos feat. Daisy Fellowes

Daisy Fellowes, the Hon. Mrs. Reginald Fellowes (née Marguerite Séverine Philippine Decazes de Glücksberg, (1890-1962)), was a Singer Sewing Machine heiress who, gifted with both wealth and beauty, became a celebrated 20th-century society figure. Fellowes was one of the most daring fashion plates of the 20th century, arguably the most important patron of the surrealist couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and a friend of the jeweller Suzanne Belperron. Her fashion icon status made her the Paris Editor of American Harper’s Bazaar. 

She married twice. Her first husband either died of influenza or comitted suicide – as a result of his homosexuality having been exposed.

Her second husbond was the Hon. Reginald Ailwyn Fellowes (1884–1953). He was a banker cousin of Winston Churchill and the son of William Fellowes, 2nd Baron de Ramsey. They had one child.

Daisy Fellowes was also a minor novelist and poet. She was notorious for her blunt observations and few escaped her notice or her acidic tongue. Of her first children, she once said, “The eldest, Emmeline, is like my first husband only a great deal more masculine; the second, Isabelle, is like me without guts; [and] the third, Jacqueline, was the result of a horrible man called Lischmann ….”

Daisy Fellowes by Man Ray, 1926 via

Daisy Fellowes by John Singer Sargent, 1910’s via

Daisy Fellowes, wearing Schiaparelli, 1933 via

Daisy Fellowes wearing Schiaparelli via