Archive for July, 2015

Viktor&Rolf celebrates ten years anniversary of Flowerbomb!

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Evening gown designed by Viktor&Rolf for international contest in Hyères, France. 1993. Courtesy of Centraal Museum

Ten years has passed since the birth of the special fragrance branded by Viktor&Rolf!

The idea was born from their belief in fascinating power of perfumes, and in 2005 it finally became reality with Flowerbomb. At that time the product has been launched giving the same name to the spring/summer collection: an explosion of ribbons and colors, with the surreal sight of a woman with her head tied in a florist’s bag. The successful fragrance, created by Olivier Polge, Carlos Benaim e Domitille Bertier, has been celebrated last 8th of June at the Trianon in Paris.

Evening gown in silk with ribbons designed by Viktor&Rolf for the Fashion Collection "Flowerbomb". 2005. Courtesy of Centraal Museum

Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have met in Arnhem during their Fashion studies. After degree they decided to move to Paris and work together. In the same year they won three prizes at the Salon Européen des Jeunes Stylistes in Hyères during the International Festival of Fashion and Photography. Later in 1998, after four collections exhibited in several experimental art spaces, they turned out on official fashion scenes with their first haute couture collection.

Evening gown designed by Viktor&Rolf for international contest in Hyères, France. 1993. Courtesy of Centraal Museum

In their last collection “Wearable art” the duo used a mingling of fashion and art as a means of expression. Composed by dresses transformed into an artworks, the collection has took the stage at the Mezzanine of the Palais de Tokyo and transformed Golden Age paintings with the rawness and spontaneity of action painting. The painterly gesture is achieved through trompe l’oeil techniques: each artwork is executed in a layering of laser-cut jacquards, embroideries and appliqués.

Fashion Show at Palais de Tokyo. Viktor&Rolf Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2015 Wearable Art. PHOTO © TEAM PETER STIGTER Courtesy of Viktor&Rolf

Browse Viktor&Rolf items on Europeana Fashion Portal and discover their fashion artworks!

Phoebe English – FLOATING | FALLING | DROWNING | FLYING – AN INTROSPECTIVE OF PROCESS at NOW Gallery, London

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Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

Displayed at NOW Gallery in London, exhibition Phoebe English – FLOATING | FALLING | DROWNING | FLYING – AN INTROSPECTIVE OF PROCESS unveils the design process of British designer Phoebe English.

Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

In London NOW Gallery until August 9th the exhibition Phoebe English – FLOATING | FALLING | DROWNING | FLYING – AN INTROSPECTIVE OF PROCESS offers an insight of the young designer’s design process and techniques, alongside a selection of her collection and catwalk pictures and a screening of her presentations and fashion films.

For the first fashion commission at NOW Gallery, the designer shares a close view of what lies behind her past works, installations and creations. Not only her first sketches, but also swatches of complex weaving and knotting work and finished garments are on display to recount the process of making a collection. It’s English clean precision that serves as a way through which her exhibition could develop from showing her delicate drawings to the elaborate glass beads installations that dominate the space.

Phoebe English’s “Floating, Falling, Drowning, Flying” exhibition at NOW gallery, London. Photo by Charlese Merson.

A way to explain and tell more about fashion than just through a collection, this introspective show gives a different point of view on fashion’s usual dynamics and habits, debating its customs and indicating new definitions to its own term.

For more information, please visit NOW Gallery.

From the Archive: the Duvet Coat

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Duvet coat designed by Maison Martin Margiela, F/W 1999. Collection MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. All rights reserved.

Fashion brands archives offer to their designers intimate inspirations for their collections.

Photo: Maison Margiela F/W 2015 show. Picture: Maison Margiela. All rights reserved.

For this A/W 2015 Artisanal collection, John Galliano designed for Maison Margiela an engaging duvet dress, whose fabric twisted and bundled partly covered in plastic sheeting. The design, which was shown beside a collection that strongly reaffirmed the historical codes of the Maison and which recalled its unconventional past, does not just place itself in the memories of the old days. A celebration of the founder genius, it refers to a previous Maison Martin Margiela design from A/W 1999, the duvet coat.

The coat, which was rectangular shaped to resemble once folded a proper duvet, was made in cotton and filled with down feathers. It featured two detachable arms and could also be paired with covers in different material and plastic sheets to customize it. Designed to be, oddly, multifunctional, the coat could be also worn as a dress, a waistcoat or a wrap. Produced by an Italian factory that actually realizes duvets, this piece perfectly embodied the spirit of what was the soon-to-be-established Artisanal line.

Duvet coat designed by Maison Martin Margiela, F/W 1999. Collection MoMu – ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen. All rights reserved.

The different ways the coat could be worn were all shown in a video that Martin Margiela directed and showed in his showroom in 1999. A small cinema, all painted in white, was infact installed into the building and also popcorns and softdrinks were served to those invited to attend the screening. The video featured two models wearing the clothes and the accessories from the collection which included, along with the duvet coat a series of lining dresses and skirts, menswear designs and a series of artisanal garments reworked by hand.

Browse through our archives to find more inspirational pieces from Maison Martin Margiela!

Goodbye, Elio Fiorucci!

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A fashion industry pioneer, Fiorucci brought the style of the Swinging London to Milan when in 1967 he opened his first boutique and conquered the world of fashion with his brilliant, vivacious revolutionary taste.

Elio Fiorucci passed away at the age of 80 in his home in Milan, where he was found this Monday morning. A fashion revolutionary, Elio Fiorucci opened his first store in Milan in 1967, bringing the style of the Swinging London to the traditionalist and conservative Italian city. His clothes broke the rules and his skinny jeans, that he designed after a trip to Ibiza where he was impressed with the way wet jeans fit and showed women’s body and curves, became a desirable garment for every girl in the world during the 70s.

Fiorucci posing with his 1972 shoe collection The platform. Photograph: Mondadori/Getty Images. All rights reserved.

In 1976 Fiorucci opened his legendary New York store: located in East Midtown it soon became the place where to live the culture of 70s and 80s. It hosted Keith Haring and Andy Warhol’s events and was frequently visited by Madonna, Cher and a fifteen years old Marc Jacobs that skipped summer school to pass his time in it.

Its bold commercials, that featured controversial artists like Divine, where directed by Oliviero Toscani with the help of Terry Jones, later founder of i-D Magazine. Collecting around him the most interesting people of the moment, Fiorucci and his store were indeed a reference point in New York City. From his store Warhol’s first issue of Interview Magazine as well as Paper Magazine where launched. Besides the Milan’s flagship store, was completely re-styled by Keith Haring in 1984.

Divine starring in a Fiorucci campaign. All rights reserved.

It was due to business management issues that the shops closed later, but along with different attempts to reestablish its brand, Fiorucci legacy still lives in fashion culture and still inspires younger designers with incredible revolutionary ideas.

Browse Europeana Fashion to find more beautiful images and designs by Elio Fiorucci!

New Theme on Europeana Fashion!

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Model wearing bikini of Nordiska Kompaniet. Photograph by Erik Holmen. 1946/1950. Courtesy of Nordiska Museet. CC BY NC ND

To face the heat of this summer, Europeana Fashion has selected some special beachwear related items from its archive!

As one of the most significative symbol of society costume developing, Beach and Swimwear have an interesting story.

The great innovation took place in 1946, when the french tailor Louis Réard invented the bikini. The name comes from the Bikini atoll of Marshall’s Islands, where US used to do nuclear tests.

Réard gave this name to the new swimsuit because of the explosive and shocking effects he was sure it was going to have on the customers. The impact was indeed so strong for costume habits of that age that it took 15 years for the bikini to be accepted by the United States.

Model wearing bikini of Nordiska Kompaniet. Photograph by Erik Holmen. 1946/1950. Courtesy of Nordiska Museet. CC BY NC ND

Discover our theme about swimsuit on Europeana Fashion webpage!

“Couture/Sculpture”: Azzedine Alaïa dresses Galleria Borghese

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Azzedine Alaia. Exhibition at Villa Borghese. Photograph by Ilvio Gallo. Courtesy of Ilvio Gallo. All rights reserved.

Galleria Borghese in Rome unveils a major retrospective on the work of the French-Tunisian designer!

Recently inaugurated during last edition of AltaRoma, the exhibition “Couture/Sculpture: Azzedine Alaïa in the History of Fashion” shows a selection of the designer creations juxtaposed to the classical sculpture and artworks of Galleria Borghese. The garments, which comes from the designer’s own archive, show off three decades of the Alaïa work, also including the stunning pieces that he designed for his friend Grace Jones.

Azzedine Alaia. Exhibition at Villa Borghese. Photograph by Ilvio Gallo. Courtesy of Ilvio Gallo. All rights reserved.

Born in the late 30’s, Alaïa was since early oriented towards fashion. After being enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Tunis lying about his age, he discovered his love for sculpture and sewing.

After moving to Paris to work for some of the biggest names in fashion as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler, Alaïa learned how to combine his two passions. In 1970’s he opened his atelier and became the dresser of the most famous divas.

Dress designed by Azzedine Alaia in 1986. Collection Les Arts Décoratifs. All rights reserved.

The exhibition, owned by Galleria Borghese until 25th October, celebrates the soft relationship between fashion and body, through the delicate conversations held by the garments and the sculptures.

Visit Galleria Borghese website to know more about the exhibition and browse through Euaropeana Fashion Archive to find more designs by Azzedine Alaïa!

Emilio Pucci’s Collezione Siciliana!

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Bikini designed by Emilio Pucci, 1956. Emilio Pucci Archive, all rights reserved.

Italian history has been, and still is, an immense source of inspirations for various designers!

As a statement of this relationship stands out Pizzia Armerina, in Sicily and its stunning Roman mosaics, which has been an inspiration, among other Italian beauties, of Emilio Pucci, who in 1956 designed the Iconic S/S “Sicilian Collection”, inspired indeed by the beautiful architecture and decorations of the Mediterranean region. More recently, in 2013, Dolce & Gabbana unveiled a breathtaking F/W 2014 collection inspired by the mosaic of the building.

Designs by Emilio Pucci for his "Siciliana" collection, 1956. Collection Emilio Pucci Archive, all rights reserved.

Villa Romana del Casale is a Roman villa built in the first quarter of the 4th century in Sicily, not far from Piazza Armerina. The villa saw the occupations of different cultures and peoples, as it was first built by Roman, and then destroyed during the domination of Vandals and Visigoths, while some of its buildings that endured were still in use by later occupations od Byzantine and Arabs.

Bikini designed by Emilio Pucci, 1956. Emilio Pucci Archive, all rights reserved.

The excavations to bring the Villa back to light began in 1929 and concluded only thirty years later. It was in 1956 however, when Emilio Pucci and photographer Elsa Haertter had the opportunity to picture the designer’s swimwear in the beautiful surroundings of Piazza Armerina, where mosaics depicted a group of roman girls wearing a kind of underwear resembling a modern bikini. Called subligaculum, it was a an underwear piece whose name translated from Latin means “to tie underneath”.

Have a look to our webpage to find more beautiful designs of Emilio Pucci Sicilian collection!

The Wonderful Rome

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Exhibition "Mirabilia Romae". Evening dresses by Valentino. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, Bagno di Diana. Photo courtesy of Ansa.

Valentino inaugurated its biggest store in the world last week in Rome. For this occasion the maison has presented a pret-a-porter capsule collection total black, marked by the sketch of an eagle, that is a symbol of the city.

Exhibition "Mirabilia Romae". Evening dresses by Valentino. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, Bagno di Diana. Courtesy of Ansa.

The inauguration party has been scheduled during the Fashion Week Altaroma, also Valentino has payed homage to the city with the Exhibition “Mirabilia Romae”, consisting of multimedia installations scattered across ten historic locations throughout Rome.

The project tells about the relationship between Maison Valentino and the Eternal City. The Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli explained it as an exemple of their personal perspective about the magnificent of Rome, where they live and find inspiration everyday.

Exhibition "Mirabilia Romae". Embroidered evening dress, haute couture. Palazzo Firenze, Galleria del Primaticcio. Courtesy of Valentino. All rights reserved.

Secret rooms in private palaces, ancient libraries, artist’s studies and historical institutes have been the location of the exhibition itinerary, where wonderful haute couture Valentino’s dresses have been showed in installations with suggestive music and backdrops. To fulfil the sensorial experience, the Maison has developed a series of exclusive scents which have perfumed the air of each location.

Discover Valentino’s dresses on Europeana Fashion Portal!

Goodbye Micol Fontana

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Exhibition “La Sala Bianca: nascita della moda italiana”, Pitti Uomo 42, 1992 - Sorelle Fontana - "Pretino". Redingotte dress in wool and silk, saturno hat, necklace with cross. To realize this dress, Sorelle Fontana asked and obtained the Vatican permission. Courtesy of Pitti Immagine

Micol Fontana, the Italian couturier loved by Hollywood Divas, died on the 12 of June at the age of 101. The designer, that in 1958 was called with her sisters to represent the Italian style in a conference at the White House, always used to talk about herself as a simple seamstress.

It was the 1936 when Fontana sisters, supported by Micol herself, decided to move from the little town of Traversetolo to the city, looking for an opportunity in fashion. They chose Rome, instead of Milan, because of the magical air of inspiration of the Eternal City.

Black silk evening dress, embroidered with white crochet and paillettes. Casa di Moda Sorelle Fontana. ’50. Courtesy of Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti.

At the beginning they made little works as seamstresses at home or in ateliers, earning money for fabrics and working hard to gain the trust in their work environment. In 1943 they inaugurated their first atelier “Casa di moda sorelle Fontana” in Palazzo Orsini and started their brilliant career. Gioia Marconi, daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, has been their first important client.

In 1957 the success arrived for the three sisters by the commission of a wedding dress for Linda Christian, in occasion of her marriage with Tyrone Power. Then an undeniable talent made the atelier Fontana becoming famous by word of mouth in international aristocracy and jet-sets.

Among the others, the most loyal customer was Ava Gardner. She used Fontana’s dresses in many films, as “The barefoot contessa” in 1954, “The sun also rises” in 1957 and “On the beach” in 1959. Also Fontana’s sister realized for the actress the “Pretino” dress, that inspired Fellini so much as he wanted Anita Ekberg wearing it in “La Dolce Vita”.

Exhibition “La Sala Bianca: nascita della moda italiana”, Pitti Uomo 42, 1992 - Sorelle Fontana - "Pretino". Redingotte dress in wool and silk, saturno hat, necklace with cross. To realize this dress, Sorelle Fontana asked and obtained the Vatican permission. Courtesy of Pitti Immagine.

In 1994 Micol Fontana created a Foundation with her name, to preserve the Atelier Fontana patrimony, composed of dresses, drawings, embroideries, fashion accessories and photographs as a memory from the past making available for future generations of fashion designers. So with the Foundation’s activities, Micol Fontana spent her time work around fashion until the end of her life. We will always remember her as the humble seamstress with a smart talent.

Browse on Europeana Fashion Fontana Sister’s dresses.

Fashion Illustration at the Rijksmuseum

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Voici mes ailes!'. Fashion plate (1 of 40) after an illustration by George Barbier, colour process engraving, Falbalas et Fanfreluches. Almanach des modes., Paris, 1922. © George Barbier. Collection Victoria And Albert Museum, CC-BY-NC.

Rijksmuseum is presenting its first retrospective of its rich collection of costume and fashion prints!

“New for Now. The Origin of Fashion Magazines” is held from 12 June to 27 September 2015 in the Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum. The exhibition, designed by designer and co-curator Christian Borstlap, in collaboration with fashion illustrators Piet Paris and Quentin Jones, collects in more than 300 prints the change in women’s and men’s fashion from the year 1600 up to and including the first half of the 20th century, and the development of the fashion magazine into the fashion glossies we know today.

"Voici mes ailes!";. Fashion plate after an illustration by George Barbier, colour process engraving, Falbalas et Fanfreluches. Almanach des modes., Paris, 1922. © George Barbier. Collection Victoria And Albert Museum, CC-BY-NC.

Fashion illustrations and prints were, before photography, the main media through which fashion was broadcasted. Magazines collected colored figures of models wearing fashionable clothes, often pictured in tableaux and reporting a short description. While most illustrators engraved every model with detailed precision to illustrate the garment paying attention to the reality, some others artists developed a personal style that made them recognizable. George Lepape, Erté and Paul Iribe were in fact usually involved by the great couturiers of their time to represents their creations.

Europeana Fashion collects a wide selection of beautiful fashion prints. Some of them belongs to the collection of Lipperheide Costume Library, that collects the prints of the fashion magazine printed by Franz and Frieda Lipperheide, which they generously donated to the Royal Museums in Berlin in 1899, Germany.

Illustrated Fashion Magazine, Franz Joseph Lipperheide. © Anna Russ. Collection Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, CC-BY-NC-SA

Browse our collection to find more of these great fashion prints and visit the Rijksmuseum to know more about the exhibition!