Italia Remembered

Italia Remembered

As Milan Fashion Week has come to a close and whilst a lot people overlook it in their anticipation for Paris, I’ve been digging and nosing around in my local bookstore and came out with a little booklet called ’40 Years of Italian Fashion’, of drawings and sketches of supposedly the most famous Italian fashion designers, published in 1983.  I’m ashamed to say that flicking through, half the names drew a blank for me and after much Googling, a lot of the names yielded very little.  Of course, the names we all know that are still around today feature (Versace, Armani, Fendi, Pucci, Missoni etc…) but others… I feel a little foolish at my lack of knowledge of Italian fashion.

The house of Carosa belonged to one the oldest families of the Italian aristocracy and attained great commercial success especially in the United States but closed in 1974 due to the changing structure of the company.

Sorelle Fontana is a name that does ring a bell but no images come to mind. In 1950’s the sisters Zoe, Mico and Giovanna took their label ‘Sorelle Fontana’ to great heights in the United States and I believe you can still find some Sorelle Fontanta branded names under some licensing agreements.

Jole  Veneziana was originally a fur designer but expanded to haute couture in 1946 and her work was known for being influenced by the stage and theatre.  The label closed when Veneziana retired in the early 80’s.

Perhaps the most well known of all and the one which I should really slap myself for not knowing more about is Emilio Fererico Schuberth who began as a milliner in Rome but then opened his atelier in 1940.  He became couturier to many an Italian and foreign aristocrat.  His fans also included a great many actresses and is best seen in this clip with Gina Lollobrigida showing off her Schuberth-designed gowns in the film ‘Fast and Sexy’.

It might strike some of you as odd that I write about this seeing as ‘old fashioned glamour’ is not something that has particularly interested in but I am rethinking definitions of timeless-ness and seeing as these designers have been somewhat maligned to one side, it’s good to to some self-teaching on a lazy Sunday.

It’s a little sad that these names have almost been erased from memory as Italian fashion, since the 30’s have fought to free themselves from the French famed houses and now, it is probably still the French houses that live on amongst the fashion-lovers. 

On a more positive note, the label Krizia is still very much alive today and I’m loving this hugely exaggerated pliss√© blouse from the 1960’s.   


Leave a comment
  1. diana

    2007-09-30 at 3:50 PM

    great post! one must learn something each and every day:) and today, you provided the lessons!
    thank you.

  2. miss j.

    2007-09-30 at 6:45 PM

    Very Informative! Love it!

  3. Iheartfashion

    2007-10-01 at 1:19 AM

    I miss the golden age of fashion illustration. Aside from Ruben Toledo, who’s doing it now?

  4. jessarin

    2007-10-01 at 11:46 AM

    Hey Susie.. I don’t know if you already know about this exhibition at the V&A.. It’s called *The Golden Age of Couture. Just thought you might be interested! 😉

  5. Andrea

    2007-10-04 at 10:33 PM

    I love this post, thank you!

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