Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Exploring Italian art forms: Italian fashion

What is art? Is fashion a form of art? This week we are inspired by the Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at Victoria and Albert museum, one of the the world’s greatest museum of art and design. Read today’s post and explore with Flavours, the specialists in painting holidays in Italy, why Italian fashion has become world renowned and why it plays a such unique role in Italy’s contemporary art culture. 

A ‘work of art’ is considered to be a human creation which gives emotion and dreamy perception, made from a creator’s idea to the pleasure of the audience. Every creator or artist has a personal and unique style, a signature, even when taking inspiration from old trends and techniques - as artists they reproduce and elaborate on previous styles.

So, is fashion not a form of art? When a fashion designer realises something without caring about the simple use or dressing necessity, experimenting with the aim of communicating, a dress becomes art. This is what has been happening in Florence since the famous 1951 fashion show of Roberto Capucci, known as the ‘cloth sculptor’, the first to bewitch the fashion world with his study of materials and original creations.  

That’s why Florence itself is thought to be where Italian fashion was born! Today the city is known for its accessories and leather industry, it is the home of the important male fashion show ‘Pitti man’, and counts many famous Italian maison, such as Gucci, Enrico Coveri, Roberto Cavalli, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Moreover, you will find the only Italian museum, the Galleria del Costume, dedicated to fashion history, with a collection of more than 6000 which includes cinema and theatre costumes, accessories, ancient dresses, pictures, drawings and prestigious samples of international stylists like Valentino, Armani, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, and others.

Rome is the centre of haute couture, with its many boutiques – Balestra, Fendi, Bulgari…- around Piazza di Spagna and Via del Corso. 

But it’s Milan that holds the Italian fashion reputation of ‘fashion capital’ since 2009. In Milan many previews take place in well known boutiques in the ‘quadrilateral of fashion’ during Fashion Week, and Milan praises designers like Valentino, Prada, Armani, Versace, D&G…nothing to be added!

Many other cities, such as Naples and Venice, host famous boutiques and old traditional laboratories, surrounded by the historic and artistic value of the city’s beautiful places - that makes fashion even more suggestive!

Classy shops can be found in famous seaside and mountain resorts such as Portofino, Forte dei Marmi, Positano, Capri, Taormina, Porto Cervo, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Courmayer and Cervinia to name a few.

Italian fashion history evolved together with Italian culture and society: this is the reason behind its success, becoming part of national heritage, just like any other form of art. From the 1950s trend to cinema glamour (think about the Mastroianni trim suit in La dolce vita), Italian tailoring has been so admired all over the world and is somewhat ‘celebrity’, with Made in Italy wanted everywhere.

Italian fashion calls to tourists every year as much as food, art, and music do. Can you think of a more inspiring trip to immerse yourself in this form of art than Flavours painting holidays in Italy?

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