Thursday, December 19, 2013

Italian Couture and Signature Fashion

Italy is recognized as being a worldwide trendsetter and leader in design, so much so that Italian architect Luigi Caccia is convinced that "Quite simply, we are the best" and that "We have more imagination, more culture, and are better mediators between the past and the future". One cannot deny it, that Italy today still exerts a vast influence on urban design, industrial design and fashion design worldwide and Italy's is fiercely vociferous about its’ iconic design, craftsmanship, food, ranging from cheeses, wine, pizza, pasta, ice-creams, sweets and more, has emerged into the common phrase "Made in Italy".

Some of the most famous Italian Fashion Brands

Our subject is all about the Italian fashion, which is amongst the world's most important fashion designs, such as those of France, USA, Great Britain and Japan. Since fashion has always been an important part of the culture of Italy, and its society. Italian designs became one of Europe's main trendsetters ever since the 11th–16th centuries, when artistic development in Italy was at its peak. Cities such as Venice, Milan,Florence and Vicenza started to produce luxury goods, hats, cosmetics,jewelry and rich fabrics. But Italy suffered a decline during the 17th–early 20th centuries, as Italian fashion lost its importance, and France became the main trendsetter of Europe. French fashion rose in popularity, ever since luxury dresses began to be designed for the courtiers of Louis XIV.

Italian fashion saw its come back during the 1951–53 fashion soirĂ©es held by Giovanni Battista Giorgini in Florence, the "Italian school" started to compete with the French haute couture, as labels such as Ferragamo and Gucci began to compete with Chanel and Dior. Currently, Milan, which is the centre of Italian fashion is considered the true fashion capitalof the world, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor, and Romeranked 4th. Both these cities annually compete with other major international centres, such as Paris, New York, London and Tokyo.

Examples of major Italian fashion houses are: 
Gucci, Armani, Emilio Pucci, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Trussardi, Versace, Krizia, Etro, Miu Miu, Laura Biagiotti, Max Mara, Fendi,Moschino, Missoni, Benetton and Brioni, to name a few. Italy is home to many fashion magazines, such as Grazia, Amica, Gioia and Donna, and have it’s Italian edition of Vogue.


Other Italian accessory and jewelry brands, such as Bulgari are amongst the most important in the world. Luxottica the Milanese company is currently the world's most successful eyewear company, boasting billions of revenue each year. Commercially, Italian Milan-based fashion design is far more successful than its Parisian rival. Armani is well known for its minimalism and sophisticated style, Versace for its extravagant and ultra-luxurious lines, Gucci for its symbolic chicness and style, Prada for its glitz and glamour, Valentino for its supreme elegance, Dolce & Gabbana for its fantasies’ and Sicilian influenced collections, Romeo Gigli for its romantic and creative ideas, Moschino for its cheap and chic collections, Roberto Cavalli for its animal print creations.

Dolce & Gabbana

When I was in Milan for a holiday way back years ago, I used to be impressed by the Japanese and Koreans queuing after the fashion boutiques of Miuccia Prada, and Gucci, waiting their turn to enter. Prada is considered as the innovator. It is only very rarely that a brand as well-known and powerful as Prada retains the cachet of a fashion insider's label. Prada has become a household name. If anyone was in any doubt about that, the title of the Hollywood blockbuster The Devil Wears Prada proves it. The fashion fraternity worships at the altar of Miuccia Prada, who changes her aesthetic and, indeed, her mind as often as most of us have dinner and has the rest of the fashion world running to keep up with her innovations. One can also notice that many high street fashion collections are an assimilations of Prada's ideas, and appear on other people's catwalks, seasons and even years down the line. Like Armani her clothes also inspired the film industry, as recently as the remake of the Great Catsby.


The ubiquity of strange and elaborate shoes, even stranger colours, the A-line and dirndl skirt and, this season in particular, lace are all thanks to this designer. Because her viewpoint is difficult to pin down, she is labelled "intellectual" but while her intelligence is clearly a force to be reckoned with, she has the instincts of a wildcat when it comes to predicting what people might like to wear six months down the line.


Giorgio Armani is the other great lifestyle designer and he is to Italy what Ralph Lauren is to the US. Armani revolutionised tailoring, loosening up the formal jacket to suit men and women of style who continue to wear his fluid, minimally-minded designs to this day. His name is also the one behind today's symbiotic relationship between film and fashion. Armani famously dressed Richard Gere in American Gigolo, and has long seen the virtue of placing the world's superstars in his front row. And who cannot remember another blockbuster The Untouchables, In return, no red carpet is complete without his designs. The current Armani poster girl is none other than my idol Cate Blanchett quite a coup, as every designer wants her. Cate does the SI ARMANI new perfume advert. 

Armani Perfume Ad feat Cate Blanchett

Italian fashion is indeed a celebration of influence, its designs and creations have influenced millions of people around the world, and many high street fashion designer is recreating and following closely on their heels. Indeed Italian Fashion is a celebration of influence!!



1 comment:

  1. Like the second photo :)
    Maria V.