VOGUE UA CONFERENCE 2019EARLY BIRDS PRICE! До 31 августа
Продолжая просмотр сайта, вы соглашаетесь с тем, что ознакомились с обновленной политикой конфиденциальности и соглашаетесь на использование файлов cookie.
Соглашаюсь
Suzy Menkes Международный редактор VOGUE
РУС ENG

Bellissima! Revealing the roots of Italy’s post-war revolution

03 декабря 2014

Laudomia Pucci posed in front of a turquoise Lurex dress designed by her father, Emilio Pucci, in the Sixties.

On the other side of the undulating set at the Maxxi museum in Rome, Anna Zegna stood by a Mila Schön suit that is a legacy from her late mother’s closet.

Laudomia Pucci
Laudomia Pucci
Maxxi Museum Bellissima exhibition with a red Valentino dress
Maxxi Museum Bellissima exhibition with a red Valentino dress
Anita Ekberg wearing Bulgari for a press conference for the film Boccaccio ’70, 1961
Anita Ekberg wearing Bulgari for a press conference for the film Boccaccio ’70, 1961

But many other names are almost unknown in Bellissima, Italy and High Fashion 1945-68 (from December 2 to May 3). The show covers a post-war period when cinema, art and fashion in Italy were all being re-built from the ruins.

The filmstars from what was known as “Hollywood on the Tiber”  - Ava Gardner, Anita Ekberg or Lana Turner, for example – are probably better known than the designers who dressed them.

But by presenting this intriguing exhibition in Rome’s modern art museum and exploring unfamiliar territory, the result has fulfilled the desire of Giovanna Melandri, president of the Fondazione Maxxi, to bring fashion into the realm of art.

“There was modernity in this period because of the fertile interaction between art and fashion,” she said of the post-war decade.

At the opening event there was a stellar turnout of those who rose to fame in a later period, including Carla Fendi, Frida Giannini, current designer at Gucci, and Rosita and Angela Missoni.

Where London’s Victoria & Albert museum’s exhibition of Italian fashion last year focused on Italy’s fashion industry, Bellissima is about those earlier footsteps. (There are, of course, graceful and decorative shoes from Ferragamo to complete the picture.)

An intelligent and visually appealing exhibition has emerged from the trio of curators: Maria Luisa Frisa, Anna Mattirolo and Stefano Tonchi. They have succeeded in making relevant a fashion that grew in Italy in the shadow of haute-couture’s glory years in Paris.

So while Balenciaga was sculpting noble silhouettes and Christian Dior was creating gowns in the caged corsets of his mother’s past, Italy was building a new modernity. Stefano Tonchi pointed to a Roberto Capucci coat with a similar minimalist spirit as a Lucio Fontana artwork; and a 1962 shantung dress by Germana Marucelli (whose  work I don’t know at all ) hand-painted by Paolo Scheggi. I though the result was rather Nineties Prada but I did not have the courage to ask Miuccia at dinner!

Italian actress Margareth Made and Pucci designer Peter Dundas at the Maxxi museum Bellissima Gala in Rome
Italian actress Margareth Made and Pucci designer Peter Dundas at the Maxxi museum Bellissima Gala in Rome

The exhibition, on a long undulating platform, is divided into eight categories from “arty” to “exotic”.  In the “black and white” section it includes a stunning Sixties Fendi fur in chevron mink that I would bet was created by a young and unknown Karl Lagerfeld.

Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome
Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome
Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome
Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome
Irene Galiztine Roma 1962 Palazzo Pyjamas in silk shantung with gold leaves and glass crystals, Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome
Irene Galiztine Roma 1962 Palazzo Pyjamas in silk shantung with gold leaves and glass crystals, Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion exhibition at the Maxxi museum in Rome

The sections are interspersed with accessories – especially the striking and colourful jewellery of Bulgari, the show’s main sponsor. I coveted a 1967 necklace in gold with ruby, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds that looked so contemporary. I was also drawn to a collection of madcap jewels in crystal on silver-plated aluminium from Coppola & Toppo. I also admired the silver disc jewellery Carla Fendi was wearing, so suited to that Sixties period.

Miuccia Prada and Stefano Tonchi admire the exhibitionMiuccia Prada and Stefano Tonchi admire the exhibition

Mini screens with clips from movies and fashion shows are both entertaining and modern. With them go the clothes of Rome’s Cinecittà years: swishing gowns from Sorelle Botti, cocktail dresses from Simonetta and the birth of Valentino’s style

I loved seeing the juicy red plastic roses from artist Alberto Burri in 1961 setting off a Valentino red dress with appliquéd roses; and the visual shock of two almost identical grass-green outfits from Irene Galitzine and Renato Balestra, the vibrant colours played off with Carla Accardi’s 1950 abstract composition.

From left: Miuccia Prada with curators Stefano Tonchi, Maria Luisa Frisa and Anna Mattirolo
From left: Miuccia Prada with curators Stefano Tonchi, Maria Luisa Frisa and Anna Mattirolo

Galitzine, like Pucci, was the start of something new: relaxed clothes with a casual glamour. That style includes Galitzine’s palazzo pyjamas and minidresses from Pino Lancetti and Tiziani, where Karl Lagerfeld was the designer.

A Roberto Capucci cracked coat, 1969
A Roberto Capucci cracked coat, 1969
Rosita Missoni and Miuccia Prada enjoy the Bellissima exhibition
Rosita Missoni and Miuccia Prada enjoy the Bellissima exhibition
Suzy with Carla Fendi
Suzy with Carla Fendi

Then came the more familiar Sixties: geometric minidresses. Tonchi explained the juxtaposition of Paolo Scheggi’s red and blue cubes in 1969 with Roberto Capucci’s red, black and white plastic dress from two years earlier.

Let’s hope that fashion-lovers can make Rome and Maxxi a destination, although such an imaginative and informative collection deserves to travel. For, as Tonchi says, these are the missing pieces in the jigsaw of how twentieth century fashion happened.

Фото: Galitzine – Archivio Storico; Musacchio, Ianniello Napolitano, courtesy Fondazione MAXXI; Claudia Primangeli. Historical Archive Roberto Capucci Foundation

выставка · Prada · Emilio Pucci · Сьюзи Менкес ·