The idea for the exhibition for fashion historian and collector Alexander Vasilyev came about a couple of years ago, and its opening was scheduled for this spring, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
Today, Italy has won the status of the most stylish country and its fashion center – Milan – is a recognized world fashion city alongside Paris, London and New York. The title of the exhibition marks the way from the beginning of the 20th century, when the great Spanish artist, inventor and costume designer Mariano Fortune worked in Venice, to Gianni Versace’s brilliant approach to the world of fashion.
The exhibition will give a vivid picture of the changing fashion trends throughout the 20th century. Visitors will have the opportunity to follow the fascinating story of how Italy managed to gradually emerge from the shadow of Paris, restore its former fame as a fashion leader and create a real economic miracle, largely based on fashion and design achievements and combining modern business methods, ancient traditions and close families. links.
Italy has been a determinant of European fashion since the Renaissance, when silk fabrics from Venice, Florence, Genoa and Milan, especially the valuable and luxurious velvet, were the most coveted and expensive product. Even at the time when Paris became the fashion capital, Italy continued to entice and inspire: young people went on a so-called “Grand Tour” to continental Europe, and a visit to Italy was an integral part of it.
In Italy, the richness of culture, art and landscape at every turn inspires. Thus, the Spanish artist, inventor and costume designer Mariano Fortunie (1871–1949) spent most of his life in a palace in Venice and, inspired by ancient culture, created his timeless chiton and peplas style costumes in the early 20th century, whose unique method of pleating fabrics is still undiscovered. By printing and dyeing velvet fabrics in his workshop, Fortune found inspiration in the luxurious fabrics of the Renaissance.
As early as the beginning of the 20th century, Italy had a strong system of craft workshops, especially in leather processing. It is not for nothing that famous companies such as Gucci, Prada, Trussardi and Fendi started out as leather manufacturers in the first decades of the 20th century. The great Salvatore Ferragamo (1898–1960), on the other hand, has been creating shoes for the brightest Hollywood movie stars since the 1920s. Interestingly, many of the oldest Italian fashion companies are still family businesses – an atypical feature of modern business, which indicates the heredity of traditions, respect for the creations and achievements of previous generations.
Although early 20th-century Italian tailors shared London’s sophisticated suit style in Sevilrov and ladies’ tailors in Paris, there was a growing desire in Italy to create their own, truly Italian fashion, taking into account climate and lifestyle, as well as style, history and beauty. This opportunity arose after the Second World War, when, recognizing the strengths of the war-torn country, it was decided to support the textile and leather industry.
More and more talented and ambitious fashion designers emerged, and the 1951 fashion show in Florence, organized especially for US journalists and department store buyers, proved to be extremely successful. It was widely covered in the press, and it was at this moment that it was considered the beginning of Italian fashion. With the support of state support and enterprising business contacts, Italy was noticed and took its rightful place in the world of fashion.
At that time, in the middle of the 20th century, aristocratic elegance, quality and the peculiar lightness of the “dolce vita”, unique to Italy, fascinated me the most: associations with the sun, sea, rest and adventure… Clever use of ancient clothing and footwear traditions, as well as the latest production, material and design capabilities, Italy became the most coveted clothing and accessories superpower during the 20th century, ingeniously finding a free niche between American sporting and democratic fashion and the constant formality and lack of comfort of French high fashion.
From the sculptural Roberto Capuchi to Georgi Armani minimalism, from Emilio Pucci’s iconic prints and Missoni knits to the baroque glow of Southern Italy by Janni Versace, Roberto Kavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, from Gucci’s elegant sex appeal to the ever-fresh Prada Italy knows how to captivate, delight and make the world more beautiful.
Exhibition “From Fortuny to Versace. Italian Fashion in 100 Years ”will be on display at the Fashion Museum from July 17, 2020 for six months. This will be the eighth exhibition of the Fashion Museum: previously the museum has exhibited exhibitions “30. years of elegance ”,“ Eastern secrets. Western Fashion and China ”,“ Dior ”,“ Golden Twenties ”,“ 1918. The Freedom Chic ”,“ The Bright Eighties ”and“ The Lady in the Crinoline ”, which was dedicated to mid-19th century fashion.
Museum opening hours: daily from 11.00 to 19.00 (in the winter season, from October 1 to May 14 – from 11.00 to 18.00).
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