Italian fashion  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Italian culture

Italy is one of the leading countries in fashion design, alongside others such as France, USA, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. Fashion has always been an important part of the country's cultural life and society, and Italians are well known for their attention of dressing-up well; "la bella figura", or good impression, remains traditional

Italian design became prominent during the 11th–16th centuries, when artistic development in Italy was at its peak. Cities such as Palermo, Venice, Milan, Naples, Florence and Vicenza started to produce luxury goods, hats, cosmetics, jewelry and rich fabrics. During the 17th-early 20th centuries, Italian fashion lost its importance and lustre and Europe's main trendsetter became France, with the great popularity of French fashion; this is due to the luxury dresses which were designed for the courtiers of Louis XIV. However, since the 1951–53 fashion soirées held by Giovanni Battista Giorgini in Florence, the "Italian school" started to compete with the French haute couture, and labels such as Ferragamo and Gucci began to contend with Chanel and Dior. In 2009, according to the Global Language Monitor, Milan, Italy's centre of design, was ranked the top fashion capital of the world, and Rome was ranked 4th, and, despite both cities fell down places in subsequent rankings, in 2011, Florence entered as the 31st world fashion capital. Milan is generally considered to be one of the "big four" global fashion capitals, along with New York City, Paris, and London; occasionally, the "big five" also includes Rome.

Italian fashion can be also connected to the most generalized concept of "Made in Italy", a sort of merchandise brand expressing excellence of creativity and craftsmanship. Italian luxury goods are renowned for the high quality of their own textiles and the perfect elegance and refinement that goes into making them up, as well as for the guarantee of quality materials.

The non profit making association which disciplines, co-ordinates and promotes the development of Italian Fashion is the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana), now headed by Carlo Capasa. It was set up in 1958 in Rome and now is settled in Milan and represents all the highest cultural values of Italian Fashion. This association has pursued a policy of organisational support aimed at the knowledge, promotion and development of fashion through events with a highly intellectual image in Italy and abroad.

Italian fashion houses and luxury brands

Examples of major Italian fashion houses focused on both menswear and womenswear, but also accessories, are: Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta (designed by Tomas Maier), Roberto Cavalli (directed by Peter Dundas), Costume National (directed by Ennio Capasa), Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, DSquared², Etro, Fendi (directed by Karl Lagerfeld for women's clothes and ready to wear and by Silvia Venturini Fendi for accessories and men's lines), Salvatore Ferragamo (created by Massimiliano Giornetti), Gucci (directed by Alessandro Michele), Hogan, Iceberg, Kiton, La Perla (directed by Emiliano Rinaldi), Loro Piana, Marni (created by Consuelo Castiglioni), Antonio Marras, Missoni, Moncler, Moschino (directed by Jeremy Scott), Prada, John Richmond, Jil Sander (founded by eponymous German designer but now headed by Rodolfo Paglialunga and entirely made in Italy), Ermanno Scervino, Trussardi, Valentino (directed by either Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli), Versace and Tod's (designed by Alessandra Facchinetti for women's ready to wear and by Andrea Incontri regarding men's lines) to name the most significant.

Examples of major fashion brands which are specialized mainly at womenswear (and also accessories for women) are Agnona (created by ex Saint Laurent Paris's creative director Stefano Pilati), Laura Biagiotti, Blumarine (created by Anna Molinari), Alberta Ferretti, Giamba (created by designer Giambattista Valli), Krizia (founded by Mariuccia Mandelli and now designed by Zhu Chongyun), Max Mara (created by Laura Lusuardi), Miu Miu (founded and directed by Miuccia Prada), Philosophy (directed by Lorenzo Serafini), Emilio Pucci (designed by MSGM's founder Massimo Giorgetti) whilst luxury houses which focus only on menswear and accessories for men are Brioni, Canali, Caruso, Corneliani, Lardini, MP Massimo Piombo, Stefano Ricci, Ermenegildo Zegna (designed by Stefano Pilati) and Pal Zileri.

Among the newest labels or younger designers, the most prominent are Aquilano.Rimondi (latest ex Gianfranco Ferré's creative directors), Au jour le jour, Cristiano Burani, Gabriele Colangelo, County of Milan (created by Marcelo Burlon), Marco De Vincenzo, Elisabetta Franchi, Stella Jean, Atos Lombardini, Angelo Marani, MSGM, Numero 21 (created by Alessandro Dell'Acqua), Christian Pellizzari, Andrea Pompilio, Fausto Puglisi (who also heads Ungaro's creative direction), Francesco Scognamiglio.

Other luxury labels which are mainly focused on the production of leather goods such as accessories, especially shoes, are Aquazzura, Baldinini, Ballin, Roberto Botticelli, Rene Caovilla, Casadei, Alberto Guardiani, Gianmarco Lorenzi, Loriblu, Bruno Magli, Vic Matié, Moreschi, Alberto Moretti, Cesare Paciotti, Pollini, Fratelli Rossetti, Gianvito Rossi, Sergio Rossi, Santoni, A. Testoni, Giuseppe Zanotti design, while fashion brands or labels which produce primarily bags, totes, suitcases are Bertoni, Borbonese, Braccialini, Cromia, Fedon, Furla, Gherardini, Mandarina Duck, Piquadro, The Bridge, Valextra and Zagliani.

Italy also is home to many fashion magazines, such as Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Elle, Glamour, Grazia, Amica, Flair, Gioia.

Other Italian accessory and jewelry brands, such as Luxottica (owner, amongst several luxury eye-wear brands, of Ray-Ban and Persol), Marcolin, De Rigo, Safilo, Damiani, Pomellato, Morellato and Bulgari are amongst the most important in the world.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Italian fashion" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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