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Traces 2018

  • Traces 2018

    Letting fashion drive you in the Museum of Costume and Fashion

    Traces 2018
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    Traces 2018 - Letting fashion drive you

    The “selection” of garments and accessories in Traces 2018: Letting fashion drive you is based on the same formula as last year’s edition: traces left by modern sculptures and painting alongside an itinerary devoted to fashion in a series of fast-paced juxtapositions, some of them natural and logical, some of them shocking and conflicting, between textile artworks from the Museo della moda e del costume, sculptures and paintings from the Modern Art Gallery’s collections. Some of
    them conjure up purely evocative images, others fuel mutually intriguing dialogue. But this time the garments come chiefly from daily life, pret-à-porter wear, some of which was even manufactured in series rather
    than exclusively as unique one-of-a-kind pieces.
    The sections have been indicated with brief flashes taken from a broader dictionary of verbs of action, nouns or simple attributes.
    Only the first room retains its colours of nature - flowers from the previous selection, just as the paintings on the walls in this room and in the two rooms before the entrance are unchanged, thus imparting a sense of continuity, almost as though it were a second chapter unfolding through the rooms, occasionally in a peaceful and seemingly understated manner, but in reality the whole tour moves forward in flowing, linear fashion.


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    Colours of Nature – Flowers

    The first room opens with a Milan-based fashion designer called Jole Veneziani. One of the founders of Italian couture, she showed her creations in Giorgini’s first fashion show in 1951. We also encounter Ferré’s work, including a peacoat spangled with floral motifs and a cope whose fabric conjures up the Orient. In both we find the sophisticated decorative sense of a stylist as meticulous and stringent in detail as he was in the construction of his garments.

    A marriage between floral adornments and Enrico Bettarini who, with his picture entitled Floral Composition painted in 1967, highlights his predilection for decorative composition and subjects from a repertoire of nature, flowers, fishes and, occasionally, such everyday items as toys. He depicts his subjects with meticulous care yet always with a light touch, almost like a pattern.


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    Colours of Nature – Flowers

    Gianfranco Ferré Couture




    Silk satin with borcading, gilded embroidery and silk ribbons, tubes, glass pearls, syntethic stones, sequins and beading appliques. Sable trim

    TA 7517-18

    Donated by Gianfranco Ferré

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    Lyrical Presence

    If we were thinking of sequence, continuity and order, Room 2 would soon cause us to change our minds. Remarkable for its intensely theatrical feel, it hosts in the foreground a monumental theatre dress designed by Roberto Capucci for a Vestal Virgin in Bellini’s Norma, a tribute to Maria Callas dated 1986. The work puts two creative phases of Capucci’s intense activity into focus: the theatre costume and the sculpture-garment; he devoted his energy only sporadically to the former, as we saw in an intriguing exhibition held in Palazzo Pitti last January, but the latter, the sculpture-garment, was to become his signature item. After 1990 he ceased to present collections and went on to become the leading player in prestigious monographic exhibitions around the world, maximising the full potential of pleats, creating weaves and expanding volume.

    In conjunction with the dress, the priestess becomes an absolute symbol of the classic in Giulio Bargellini’s painting, in which we breathe a “Hellenistic” atmosphere in the classicising figures whose drapery ideally overflows from the picture until it virtually brushes the volume of the theatre costume; the cloth with its soft, almost evanescent hues merges with the dress in a kind of symphony in music and painting.

    For opera, what better match than with the singer Maria Callas, whom Capucci must have had in mind when he created this dress, an imposing sculpture despite its intrinsic lightness, veiled by the melancholy of sounds from the past like a siren song.


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    Lyrical Presence

    Giulio Bargellini

    Eterno Idioma

    oil on canvas

    Pitti Palace, Modern Art Gallery

    Inv. GAM n. 5952

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    Lyrical Presence

    Roberto Capucci

    Costume for Vestal Virgin in Bellini's "Norma"


    Silk taffeta, lurex fabric, bodice with applied sequins and silver cord of different sizes and shades

    TA 3507-10

    Donated by Roberto Capucci

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    Wearing relief

    Overlaps and appliques in gilded metal or fabric, in shades of colour different from the underlying cloth, characterise Room 3 devoted to Gianfranco Ferré; the clothes on display testify to his sophisticated creativity and his deep knowledge of technique bolstered by a consolidated experience that dialogues with the incisive style of Corrado Cagli’s painting Nadir, with which it is on the same wavelength thanks to his constant technical experimentation, his use of non-traditional materials and his new surface texture in velvet paper.

    The leading player in the room, Ferré is an architect who has poured his sense of geometry, his rationality and his immense culture into designing, cutting and making clothes. His ideas jotted down on paper are bare, incisive drawings in which we can detect the artist’s emotional impact, just as we can intuit the variety

    and sumptuousness of his decorations from his sketches. His individual creations have been compared to the pieces of a mosaic, from which he extracted a considerable number of items grouped by theme in order to donate them to the then Galleria del Costume, and thus to the city of Florence, in 2001.


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    Wearing Relief

    Gianfranco Ferré

    Prêt-à-porter suit 

    Autumn-Winter 1987-88

    Woollen jersey with embroidery in gilded metallic yarn, medallion appliques and semi-precious stone pendants. Stitched satin skirt

    TA 7505-06


    Gianfranco Ferré

    Prêt-à-porter suit



    Woollen jersey with ring, chain and gilded cord appliques. 

    Georgette trousers

    TA 7513-14

    Donated by Gianfranco Ferré

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    Wearing Relief

    Corrado Cagli

    (Ancona 1910 - Rome 1976)


    1966 ca.

    Waxy oil-based pastels on papier velour paper applied on canvas

    Acquired at the 19 th National Fiorino Award Exhibition in 1969

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    Gianfranco Ferré

    Prêt-à-porter suit

    Autumn-Winter 1990-91

    Leather top with semi-precious stone medallion and gilded metal volute appliques. Wincey skirt with fox fur trim

    TA 7515-16

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    Sharing Contrast

    Devoted to Capucci who was certainly no longer a novice by this time but who displayed unmistakable genius in his classic models and his wool embroidery in the red chiffon dress or in the Madeleine Vionnet-style cut of the black dress, and in the endless metamorphosis taking place in the white and red dress. Still a very young designer, he showed his work on the catwalk in the Sala Bianca in 1951; earning the esteem of Christian Dior, he was declared Italian fashion’s most outstanding creator in 1956 and two years later, with his “box” line, he won the fashion Oscar at Filene’s in Boston. He worked in Paris from 1962 to 1967, but by the early ‘seventies he had gradually begun to trade his front-line stylist’s role for the role of one of the greatest artist-sculptors in the apparel industry.

    Capucci interacts here with a painting by Nativi entitled Laceration, one of the most lyrical works by this Florentine painter who, along with others, played such a leading role in the movement known as Classic Abstraction, which in this picture reveals its ability to transcend the surface of painted space.


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    Sharing Contrast

    Roberto Capucci

    Evening gown


    Silk grosgrain

    TA 5418

    Donated by Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana

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    Pure Volumes

    The star of this room is the balanced, harmonic group of volumes in which Alimondo Ciampi’s sculpture is immersed. A Capucci suit from the early ‘sixties with its double pleats at the front and its trapezoidal shape paves the way for the future style of this designer who created sculpture garments with his famous folds and pleats. These are matched by a dress by Azzedine Alaïa, a Parisian stylist of Tunisian origin who, unlike Capucci, adds and overlays, devoting his energy to modelling fabric on the female body, following its soft shapes, swathing it and defining its surface with firm cuts almost like a kind of second skin.


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    Pure Volumes

    Roberto Capucci

    Suit: dress and jacket


    Silk-wool satin with mink fur

    TA 5429-30

    Donated by Associazione Tornabuoni - Linea più

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    Pure lines

    The suit by Mila Schön clearly displays the essential features of her style: a linear design, and stringency and precision in the cut. She showed one of her collections on the catwalk in the Sala Bianca in 1968 but focused from the ‘seventies on solely on prêt-à-porter wear, launching the double-face, a fabric with a matching motif on both sides, an example of which we can see in the suit on display here.

    The room also hosts a georgette evening gown by Capucci whose hempen braid trim reflects the astonishing creativity with which the artist intervenes on material. Next to it, a work by the other artist-sculptor of dresses, Azzedine Alaïa Alaïa too, like Capucci, does not follow fashion.

    Their creations are timeless. His linear garments display the same purity of execution with which Arrigo Minerbi fashioned his young female nude.


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    Pure Lines

    Mila Schön

    Suit: dress and overcoat


    Woollen cloth

    TA 3914-15

    Donated by Umberto Tirelli


    Roberto Capucci


    Autumn/Winter 1971-72

    Silk chiffon with cord appliques

    TA 3057

    Donated by Marisa Sorcinelli

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    Elio Fiorucci is represented by a short jacket and a jeans skirt.

    The stylist picked up on the revolutionary wind of 1968, the social upheaval it triggered and its inevitable impact on the world of fashion. He looked to street art and to Pop Art, working with Andy Warhol and with Keith Haring. Opening his first boutique in Milan in 1967, he went from strength to strength. His creations included fashion jeans in lycra and denim that clung to the body, offering a more sensual wearability.

    A room focusing chiefly on the casual look could not fail to showcase Levi’s and Cotton Belt jeans, while the vibrancy of the geometrical forms seemingly abandoned in the jacket of the sequin suit designed by Oleg Cassini (a naturalised American who was Jackie Kennedy’s stylist) and the kaleidoscope motif on the suit designed by Ken Scott (a designer and brilliant decorator on fabric) would appear to be the prelude to a party, while a studied piece by Emilio Pucci, its structured composition inspired by the cathedral of Monreale, nearPalermo, seems to be a recall to order.

    All of this is linked to the painter Anna Sanesi, a pupil of Rosai, who shows a penchant in her work for water and for lakeside landscapes. Her highly succinct style of painting reveals a vertical form of mapping like a tapestry describing an area and its vegetation.


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    Anna Sanesi

    (Prato 1934 - 2009)

    Spring in the Marsh


    Oil on canvas

    Acquired at the 16th National Fiorino Award Exhibition in 1965

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    Ken Scott

    “Kaleidoscope” suit: dress and overcoat


    Silk crêpe and metallic yarn overcoat; printed jersey dress

    Donated by Susan Nevelson




    1970 ca.

    Worked wool, cotton and metal yarn fabric

    GGC 7324

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini


    Oleg Cassini

    Suit: top and skirt


    Organza, Jersey lined with sequins

    TA 12250

    Donated by Jean Toschi Marazani Visconti

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    “Experimenting” is the most appropriate term to describe Roberto Cavalli’s work, and two of the garments on display demonstrate the process of printing on leather that the stylist patented in the ‘sixties. Equally interesting is the result of his technique of applying leather on leather and the splendid colour effect it achieves.

    The third dress, with an applique parrot, illustrates his passion for the animal world. All of these garments are likely to have been made in the ‘seventies, the first phase of his career.

    In the small oil painting, the painter Pasquarosa Marcelli, the wife of artist Nino Bertoletti and a model for many of the leading lights in the Roman school, depicts a gaudy parrot using the à plat technique, almost as though she were seeking to emulate intarsia inlay work.


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    Roberto Cavalli 



    Leather with metal wire appliques and worked tulle

    TA 8901

    Donated by Gabriella Alessi

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    Roberto Cavalli

    Parrot dress


    Cotton knit, suede with leather appliques knit

    TA 8904

    Donated by Gabriella Alessi

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    Uniquely Mass Produced

    The characteristic sign in Capogrossi’s work Dialogues, an upside-down E, is reiterated in a silkscreen print using silk as a medium.

    This is the final point in a complex process seeking to use the repetition of signs to achieve a universal language capable of forgoing the mimetic reflection of the truth.

    That same language appears to be the language spoken by the three dresses designed by Azzedine Alaïa which, even with the details of the various models, conform to Capogrossi’s work, almost becoming three dark silhouettes that look as though they have been cut out in order to be themselves transformed into an equivalent sign or character.


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    Uniquely Mass Produced

    Giuseppe Capogrossi

    (Rome 1900 - 1972)



    Silk-screen print

    Donated by the artist


    Azzedine Alaïa


    1988 ca.

    Stretch cotton jersey

    GGC 7315

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini

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    And...the Man

    The room has the appearance of a precious treasure chest rich in works which, in a stylistic crescendo, engage in mutual dialogue and exalt each other in their different characteristics. Man, too, is exalted, man who has been so noticeably absent until now, with the presence of two men’s jackets, one by Yves Saint Laurent, a synonym for classic elegance, the other by Jean Paul Gaultier who with provocational intent has concealed a printed skeleton in the lining.

    A suit by Ozwald Boateng, on the other hand, represents London made-to-measure tailoring characterised by care in the details that we can discover if we examine the suit in each one of its component parts: the jacket, the trousers and the waistcoat. The paintings

    adorning the space also exalt the male figure.

    Nor are the women’s clothes on display any less prestigious. They include a suit by Jean Lanvin from the mid-40s, a Gucci dress from the early ‘90s, an original and transgressive overcoat by John Galliano and an evening gown in degradé satin by Avelardo Bessi.

    The painting hanging on the wall of the room, by Guido Peyron, is entitled Friends in the Workshop. The figures all sport dark suits, almost as though it were a kind of uniform, and the palette used for the painting of whole consists of a range of blacks and browns also found in the clothes on display. Peyron depicts a group of intellectuals, poets, artists and musicians in a bohémien atmosphere in which each one appears to be self-absorbed in search of his own creative inspiration, shunning all superficiality.


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    And... the Men

    Massimiliano Corcos

    (Florence 1894 - 1916)

    Pietro Milani


    Oil on canvas

    Donated by the artist's heirs in 1916


    Ozwald Boateng

    Dress, waistcoat and blouse

    1997 ca.

    Cotton, woollen cloth

    GGC 8907

    Donated by Fausto Calderai

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    And... the Men

    Guido Peyron

    (Florence 1898 - 1960)

    Friends in the Workshop


    Oil on panel

    Characters in the painting: Vieri Freccia, painter apprentice of Felice Carena (up on the left);

    Gianni Vagnetti (up on the right);

    Walfredo della Gherardesca ( in the middle on the right);

    Odoardo Zappulli, painter and cellist (in the middle on the left);

    Luigi della Piccola, musician (lower in the middle);

    Arturo Loria, writer (lower right).

    On permanent loan from the artist



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    And... the Men

    John Galliano


    1998 ca.

    Woollen cloth with satin details

    GGC 5872
    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini


    Averardo Bessi

    Evening gown


    Degradé silk satin

    GGC 8829

    Donated by Elisabetta Pesctori

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    The first tailleur suit was made for the Prince of Wales by an English tailor (hence the name) called John Redfern in 1885, but it was Coco Chanel who “tailored” it to the female body in 1917, lightening its structure and fabric and eventually making it the symbolic garment of the emancipated woman who adopts and adapts male clothing, emulating its practicality though refusing to dispense with her own natural elegance.

    Thus Chanel’s suit may be seen as a prototype, a fashion icon, as can Christian Dior’s jacket representing the new look of the ‘fifties. Displayed here on its own, it was worn with full, voluminous skirts at the time.

    Stringency and elegance also inhabit Martini’s sculpture of a female figure in terracotta, as robust and as unadorned as a pillar.


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    Wool diagonal

    GGC 7167

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini


    Chanel Boutique



    Fabric with different yarns (acrylic, polyamide, metal yarn) and grosgrain inlay

    GGC 7187

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini

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    When Form Becomes Style

    Devoted to the dressmaker Alma Mari Lami who worked in Florence from the ‘fifties to the ‘seventies. Her clothes perfectly reflect the characteristic features of workshops in the city in those years. Lami looked to Paris for her models, but her distinguishing features were the type and design of their decoration and their astonishingly sophisticated execution.

    An exception is the ivory satin evening gown, where she seeks her inspiration in the Parisian couture of Elsa Schiaparelli in both the pattern with its asymmetrical drapery and the gilded silver metal thread decoration depicting small horses along a tendril.

    Opposite we have Felice Casorati’s The Foreigner, a painting that is one of the emblems of Magical Realism with its figures turning their backs on us and its inexpressible atmosphere.


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    When form becomes style

    Alma Maria Lami

    Evening gown


    Silk satin embroidered with silvered, gilded metal thread and with sequin and small gilded stud appliques

    TA 6689

    Donated by Francesco Lami

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    Colours in Motion

    Gianfranco Ferré, whose work we have already encountered on several occasions in the course of this exhibition, winds up his contribution by transmitting a vibration of colour in movement, an animation with which Ferré himself would happily have imbued all of his creations.

    Marcolino Gandini frequented the workshop of draughtsman and engraver Casorati as a very young man and showed his work in several exhibitions in Turin in the ‘seventies and ‘eighties, eventually opting for a geometrical, abstract path with ledges jutting out beyond vertical space.


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    Colours in motion

    Gianfranco Ferré

    Suit: cardigan and dress

    Spring-Summer 1997

    Gilded lace dress with sequin appliques, lined in chiffon; gilded lace cardigan lined in tulle

    TA 7464-65

    Donated by Gianfranco Ferré

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    Colours in motion

    Gandini Marcolino

    (Turin 1937)

    Geometrical abstract painting


    Acrylic oil on canvas


    Gianfranco Ferré

    Suit: fitted coat, blouse and skirt

    Spring-Summer 1988

    Silk taffeta fitted coat; organza blouse and wool crêpe skirt

    TA 7558-61


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    Fashionable Pathways

    The section devoted to travel hosts clothing and accessories from the Museo della Moda e del Costume’s collections adapted for wear or lying in suitcases ready to travel, but not necessarily designed for that purpose. The display showcases hats, scarves, glasses, gloves and more bizarre items such as a coat-hanger carrier and an umbrella case, but primarily it consists of bags and suitcases which allow us to carry whatever we may need and which stretch from the beauty case and James Collard Vickery’s linen bag to a suitcase of dreams with labels to remind us of the places visited.
    Apart from the duster coat designed for driving, the clothes are basically comfortable suits or jackets, but they are also capable of conjuring up particular situations, such as Emilio Pucci’s two-piece outfit comprising a blouse and a balloon skirt that instantly brings to mind the girl in an open car with a scarf fluttering about her neck that you might have seen in any Hollywood movie in the ‘fifties.
    Thus the works on display interact with our own imagination, fuelled by the presence of toys of the period: two tin cars and a tin bus that faithfully reproduce the original modes of transport. The three toys, unique pieces kindly loaned for the occasion, conjure up in turn the car that Elisabeth Chaplin’s nephew Robert is holding in the portrait on display here. Equally strong in its visual impact is the self-portrait of the sculptor Vito Pardo, who has chosen to portray himself as an Audax, the leader of the racing drivers who set out to break a record by driving from Florence to Naples in a single day on 12 June 1897.


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    Fashionable Pathways

    Emilio Pucci

    “Vivara” scarf


    Silk twill

    TA 6186

    Donated by Emilio Pucci





    Silk twill

    GCC 6825

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini

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    Fashionable Pathways

    Vito Pardo

    (Venice 1872-1933)



    Cast bronze bust

    Donated by the artisti in 194


    IRA Jaccob’s London

    Cap with glasses


    Leather, woollen cloth; celluloid glasses

    TA 8298-99

    Donated by Centro della moda italiana

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    Fashionable Pathways


    1930 ca. 

    Rainproof silk coat

    TA 1863

    Donated by Giacomo Cocola


    Valentino Boutique


    1980 ca.

    Woollen dogtooth with velvet detail

    GCC 6870

    Donated by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini

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    Fashionable Pathways




    TA 8897

    Donated by Luigi Domacavalli

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    Fashionable Pathways

    John Collard Vickery

    Linen case


    Calfskin lined with moiré silk

    TA 1905

    Donated by Antonio Altoviti Avila

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    Fashionable Pathways

    Linen case


    Hessian embroidered with cotton

    TA 13279

    Donated by Giuliana Ghisellini

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    Fashionable Pathways

    Tipp &Co. limousine

    1928 ca. 

    Property of Agostino Barlacchi 


    Tipp & Co. motor coach

    1930 ca.



    1950 ca.

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    Fashionable Pathways

    Elisabeth Chaplin

    (Fointenbleau 1892 - Florence, Fiesole 1982)

    Robert with Dog and Toy Car


    Donated by Elisabeth Chaplin in 1974

Traces 2018

Letting fashion drive you in the Museum of Costume and Fashion

This virtual tour was designed and developed in conjunction with the exhibition Traces. Letting fashion drive you in the Museum of Costume and Fashion opening at Palazzo Pitti, Museum of Costume and Fashion on 17th July 2018.



Exhibition created and curated by

Caterina Chiarelli, coordinatore Museo della Moda e del Costume
Simonella Condemi, coordinatore Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti
Tommaso Lagattolla, costumista scenografo


With the collaboration of
Katia Sanchioni


Curator Assistant
Alice Simoncini
con la collaborazione di 
Ilaria Banchetti
Serafina Martina Bizzarri


Explanatory texts (introduction to the Exhibition and Sections, detailed descriptions of the works) by

Caterina Chiarelli
Simonella Condemi
con la collaborazione di
Alice Simoncini


Iconographic research by

Arianna Borga
Francesco Douglas Ferri
Irene Grifoni 
Alice Simonicini


Photographs by

Gabinetto Fotografico delle Gallerie degli Uffizi, Francesco Del Vecchio

Archivio Sillabe, Antonio Quattrone, Marcello Bertoni, Paolo Bacherini


HyperVision graphic design by

Arianna Ingrassia, Omar Nappini



I donatori del Museo della Moda e del Costume e della Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Agostino Barlacchi  per il prestito gentilmente concesso, al personale del Museo della Moda e del Costume, e inoltre:

Annalisa Alecci 
Antonella Alletto
Leonardo Baldi 
Mariella Becherini

Andrea Biotti
Patrizia Capasso
Dylan Colussi
Edoardo Drera
Aurora Fiorentini 
Simona Fulceri
Francesca Leoni
Mauro Linari
Claudia Luciano 
Laura Mori 
Cinzia Nenci 
Susi Piovanelli 
Francesca Schena
Vitina Telesca
Stephen Tobin
Alice Ventura 


Please note: Each image in this virtual tour may be enlarged for more detailed viewing. 

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