Bellissima at Maxxi

BELLISSIMA: Italy and High Fashion at Maxxi

BELLISSIMA: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968

Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968 retraces the evolution of Italian fashion through the seasons of a 20 year period of heightened Italian creativity.  During this time, many exemplary Italian ateliers created the fundamentals for the success of the ‘made in Italy’ brand on an international scale.

Through the following themes: artsy, daytime, black & white, cinema, gala evening, cocktail, exoticism and space, the show highlights artists and couturiers, and presents their unique inspiration and vision. In this spectacularly designed installation, pieces of art by Carla Accardi, Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana enter into a dialogue with the clothes of Emilio Schuberth and the Fontana sisters, Germana Marucelli and Mila Schön.

BELLISSIMA: Italy and High Fashion at Maxxi

The inspiration for the name “Bellissima” comes from its inherent use as a universal synonym for beauty comes and the 1951 film by Luchino Visconti. According to the curators, it is “the Italian way of life: a spectacular kaleidoscope of soft, relaxed, disorganized atmospheres, of sex and dolce fare niente” that was part of every day life in the so-called “Hollywood” on the Tiber. In the post W.W.II era, Italy ‘s design synergy and curiosity gave way to a sort of creative buzz that traveled through the city of Rome. Ateliers, galleries, and cafés became a meeting place for artists, couturiers, collectors, dreamers, beautiful women, and intellectuals.

Pasquale De Antonis, Federico Garolla and Ugo Mulas are three photographers who recount the story of how the landscapes of Italian high fashion created a new aesthetic of fashion photography.

BELLISSIMA: Italy and High Fashion at Maxxi
Two-piece cocktail dress, 1955. Label: Simonetta, Roma;
Courtesy Collezione Enrico Quinto e Paolo Tinarelli

Bellissima is not a history of high fashion, but rather the collection of the spectacular creations of Italian Fashion. The finest jewelry and the cocktail dresses, the everyday outfits, and accessories are still the product of the best Italian craftsmanship, which retains its unique and unrepeatable character.

Today, the relationship between Italian high fashion and the textile industries is key to understanding the development of successful Italian luxury ready-to-wear brands. With Bellissima, fashion has infiltrated a major Italian museum with all the rights of the visual arts. Hopefully, some day soon Italian fashion will have the permanent museum it deserves.

BELLISSIMA: Italy and High Fashion at Maxxi
Modelli Valentino e Sorelle Fontana, foto Franz Benedikter, servizio a cura di Marily Briatico Daveglia, in Bellezza, 1967

2 December 2014 – 3 May 2015


Via Guido Reni, 4/a

Tue-Sun 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-10pm

Entry Fee €11

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