Italy is known for its centuries-long culture of la bellezza and a style which has come to be identified by its people’s creativity and highest-quality craftmanship. Italian Fashion & Cinema looked at some key highlights from 1960 in the country’s extremely intricate and rich story of style.
We explored the allure of two key films, L’avventura and La dolce vita. Both of them released in 1960, they meant a change in the perception of Italy by international audiences, showing a newly sophisticated style and fashion. After the post-war gloom and the realism portrayed in the most appreciated cinema of the 1950s, Italy would now be perceived as a country with a style and a beauty of its own.
Ferragamo Museum’s Director, Stefania Ricci, introduced us to the House’s 100 year long relationship with film as well as film stars in a seminar with Dr. Giuliana Pieri at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Led by Matt Tyrnauer, a regular contributor to Vanity Fair magazine, we had a glimpse at Valentino’s legendary world of glamour and beauty in his film Valentino: The Last Emperor. Plus, in a unique on-stage interview with Costume National’s Creative Director, Ennio Capasa, fashion journalist Camilla Morton explored the world of the creator of what was described by the New York Times as the “cool and chic modernism” of this mens and womenswear label.
We were also proud to offer London audiences a very special premiere of Christina Voros’s The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts. The film, preceded by an on-stage conversation between Voros and Vanity Fair’s European Editor-at-Large Jemima Khan, is a documentary about Frida Giannini, Creative Director of Gucci, one of the most successful fashion houses in the world, with a tradition going back to the 1920s.
FERRAGAMO: FOOTWEAR, FASHION AND FILM
A seminar in three parts about Italian aesthetics and Ferragamo’s associations to film, with tea break and Q&A.
Dr. Giuliana Pieri
From Royal Holloway at University of London, introduced us to Italian aesthetics in Italy since 1945.
Director of the Ferragamo Museum in Florence, talked to us about Salvatore Ferragamo’s beginnings in Hollywood and the House’s continuing work with film as well as about Ferragamo’s collaboration with stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM – SAT 5 APR | 2:00 – 5:00PM
ON-STAGE INTERVIEW WITH ENNIO CAPASA, FROM CoSTUME NATIONAL
Italian fashion designer Ennio Capasa founded Costume National in 1986 with his brother Carlo. The label soon became famous for the timeless approach to style which finds its roots in an avant-garde aesthetic with a minimal-chic and rock ‘n roll attitude.
A continuous search between tradition and innovation, craftsmanship and technology, past and future. The “New York Times” has defined Ennio Capasa as the designer who inspired and revolutionised the 90’s fashion, as Giorgio Armani did for the 80’s.
Ennio Capasa joined fashion writer Camilla Morton for a unique on-stage interview, illustrated with images, about his career, his relationship with cinema and his interests.
CINÉ LUMIÈRE – MON 7 APR | 7:00pm
THE DIRECTOR: AN EVOLUTION IN THREE ACTS
dir: Christina Voros
with Frida Giannini, James Franco
USA | 2013 | 96 min | col | doc| cert. tba
In English and Italian with English subtitles
In 2004 Frida Giannini joined the house of Gucci as Head of Women’s Accessories. Two years later she was promoted to be the Creative Director, reviving Gucci’s Florentine roots, with a focus on sensuality, sophistication, Italian craftmanship and youthful freshness. This collaboration between producer James Franco and filmmaker and cinematographer Christina Voros looks at the work of a creative woman juggling the balance between shyness and public exposure, exceptional talent and self-effacement, career and personal life. This film is a must-see for fashion lovers, as well as being an informative documentary on the dynamics behind one of the most successful fashion brands – and the dreams of the people behind it.
This screening was a premiere in the UK and was preceded by an on-stage conversation between filmmaker Christina Voros and Jemima Khan, Vanity Fair European Editor-at-Large.
CURZON MAYFAIR – TUE 8 APR | 8:30PM
VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR
dir: Matt Tyrnauer
with Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti
USA | 2008 | 96 min | col | doc | cert. 12
In English, French and Italian with English subtitles
With unprecedented access, for over two years writer Matt Tyrnauer followed the supremely glamorous existence of what is one of the most stable and enduring partnerships in the fashion world: that of designer Valentino Garavani and his business partner and companion Giancarlo Giammetti.
This documentary examines the empire they created together, with its ultimate aim of attaining beauty. Valentino is informative and dynamic, as well as tender, fascinating and hugely fun. Tyrnauer’s film offers a unique glimpse into a fertile partnership, as well as the end of an era and – essentially – a love story.
Followed by a Q&A with director Matt Tyrnauer
CINÉ LUMIERE – WED 9 APR | 8:30PM
dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
with Monica Vitti, Gabrielle Ferzetti, Lea Massari
Italy/France | 1960 | 143 min | b & w | cert. PG |
In Italian with English subtitles
A meditation on love and its transience, L’avventura follows the search for Anna, who disappears on a boat trip to the Aeolian Islands in the South of Italy. During the search, Anna’s best friend, Claudia, becomes attracted to Sandro, the former’s boyfriend. Adriana Berselli’s costumes for the film, and the way they blend in with the landscape, are key to understanding the characters and the emptiness and futility around them.
Preceded by an introduction
CINÉ LUMIERE – THU 10 APR | 6:15PM
LA DOLCE VITA
dir: Federico Fellini
with Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Anita Ekberg
Italy/France | 1960 | 174 min | b & w | cert. 12A
In Italian with English subtitles
La dolce vita captures the economic renaissance and modernisation of Italy while portraying the internal travails of journalist Marcello, who is torn between his nights out with Rome’s elite, and the infatuated love and conventional life offered by his girlfriend – all the while struggling to be a serious writer. The film’s costumes – which won Piero Gherardi the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Black and White – portray a sophisticated, expensively dressed and sensually alluring Marcello, as well as an elegantly feline Anouk Aimée wearing black dresses and cat’s-eye sunglasses, and an impossibly glamorous Anita Ekberg.
Preceded by an introduction
CINÉ LUMIÈRE – SUN 13 APR | 4:30PM
The restoration of La Dolce Vita has been made possible by Gucci as part of a longstanding commitment to restore and preserve significant films through the work of The Film Foundation.
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in association with The Film Foundation, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Mediaset-Medusa, Paramount Pictures and Cinecittà Luce.
Restoration funding provided by Gucci and The Film Foundation
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With special thanks: