In 1935, Salvador Dali designed a powder compact in the shape of a telephone dial for Elsa Schiaparelli. It was their first collaboration, to be followed by many others. Customers had the option of personalising the object by having it engraved with their name or any other favourite image. Several versions were available: black lacquer or tortoise shell, among others.
A technical object, the telephone dial was transformed into a cosmetic case to ultimately achieve the status of a work of art.
The same year, Schiaparelli moved into 21, Place Vendôme. Dali stated in his memoirs that the Paris of the 1930s was marked “not by the debates of the surrealists in the café in Place Blanche, or by the suicide of my great friend René Crevel, but by the fashion house that Elsa Schiaparelli was to open in Place Vendôme. There, morphological phenomena took place; there, the fiery tongue of the Holy Spirit of Dali touched down” (The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, 1942).
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