In 1928 the great Elsa Schiaparelli designed knit bathing suits which were based on her famous trompe l’oeil sweaters. These were imported into the USA by Saks Fifth Avenue. This suit, while not made by Schiaparelli, was certainly inspired by her designs. It was probably made in the US, and was sold by Saks Fifth Avenue’s lower-cost cousin, Saks and Co.
The above photos and text are from my long-neglected website, Fuzzylizzie.com. I have a page that shows off some of the swimsuits in my collection, including this one. I bought this suit because it was so clearly influenced by the Schiaparelli bow sweaters. Had it been a real Schiaparelli, I’d have never been able to afford it.
While browsing Pinterest today, I found my photo with the caption Elsa Schiaparelli Swimsuit. I knew the pinner – she’s a good vintage friend – and knew she’d never have misconstrued my writing in such a way. Sure enough, she had found my photo on another blog, with the caption, Elsa Schiaparelli Swimsuit. And to make matters worse, lots of other people have pinned it from that site.
So now the misinformation is out there, and there is no way to get it back. I did ask the blogger to make the correction on her blog, but the damage has been done.
I know that people love Pinterest. I’ll admit to wasting a bit of time on the site now and then. But there are some huge problems as far as photos getting separated from their context. Not only is my photo all over Pinterest with no mention of my site, but now people are seeing the photo and are giving it an attribution it does not deserve.
Was my original paragraph so long and involved that people can’t read past the first sentence? Perhaps I should change the beginning to read, “This is not a Schiaparelli but…”
I want to make it clear that I do not have a problem with the blogger taking the photos from my site. Under the rules of Fair Use, I feel she has the right to use them. It would have been nice had she asked first. And it would have been really nice had she read what I actually wrote about the swimsuit.
On a lighter note, is it not just the best swimsuit ever?