Milan • 30 yrs of Italian fashion on show
At exhibition at Palazzo Reale through May 5
A thirty-year period of Italian fashion is going on display at Milan’s Palazzo Reale in the exhibition titled “Italiana: Italy Seen Through Fashion 1971-2001“.
During this particular period, Italian fashion had a creative peak and Italian style made a huge impact worldwide.
The exhibition highlights the birth of ready-to-wear fashion, which coincided with the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s, and continues through to the start of the new millennium, which saw Italian fashion explode into a global phenomenon.
Curated by Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi, the show is also a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion.
The show unfolds across nine different rooms and is presented in thematic rather than chronological order, with dresses, accessories and photographs in a dialogue with the works of contemporary artists such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Maurizio Cattelan and Vanessa Beecroft.
Curator Stefano Tonchi said that 1971 was the year when Walter Albini became the first Italian fashion designer to hold a runway show in Milan for his “unified collection”.
“The year 2001 makes us think of the Twin Towers, but also of change, because fashion is a global phenomenon and brands become the property of large foreign luxury companies,” Tonchi said.
“But Italian fashion is good at adapting to change,” he said.
Carlo Capasa, president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, said the show highlights an important moment in Italian fashion history with the birth of ready-to-wear.
“We created it, and in so doing, we produced fashion for everyone, bringing together creativity, craftsmanship and industry in a one-of-a-kind system worldwide,” he said.
Each room has a theme, starting with “Identity”, which highlights Italian ready-to-wear and includes a 1971 photograph by Oliviero Toscani for L’Uomo Vogue in its Unilook feature.
Creations on display include works by designers such as Armani, Gucci, Tom Ford, Gianni Versace, Max Mara, Roberto Cavalli, Krizia, and Ferrè, among others.
The exhibition is sponsored by the City of Milan and the Chamber of Fashion with the support of the Italian Industry Ministry, and runs through May 6.