Education

The special relationship between Italy, fashion and art

Florence contribution to highlight a connection that seemed lost

The special relationship between Italy, fashion and art

Claudia Astarita

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When you think about fashion it is common to think about Italy as well, and not only because Italian brands are now famous all over the world, but also because Italy has been considered for decades the crib of fashion. The same happens for art, as some of the most beautiful painting, buildings and sculptures that we admire today have been created by Italians. Probably this is one of the reasons why while waiting to transform the Pitti Palace in a permanent fashion museum, the municipality of Florence has launched a city-wide exhibitions exploring the relationship between two of Italy's most significant cultural contributions, fashion and art.

As the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post correctly reminded, Florence never stopped "reclaiming its centuries-old role as an incubator of the interplay between fashion and art". A new exhibition under the banner "Across Art and Fashion" just opened at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum with four other venues hosting linked events. According to the Museum director Stefania Ricci, this is the first time that Italy tries to explore the relationships between art and fashion through an exhibition.

Unfortunately, even in Italy most people do not know that during the Renaissance "the connection between art and fashion was even tighter than it is today". As Mrs Ricci explained, "in the 15th century, there was no difference between artisan and artist". It was only at a later stage that these two worlds separated: fashion was considered functional, then real, while art remained a conceptual thing. Despite that, "they always kept an eye one on the other."

"More than a dozen brands are represented in the museum, including a Schiaparelli skirt suit with buttons made for her by friend Alberto Giacometti and a Vionnet silken tunic dress from 1922 featuring geometric motifs, on a rare loan from the Louvre".

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