‘Fashion in Florence through the lens of Archivio Foto Locchi’

At Palazzo Pitti the history of fashion in Italy and Florence displayed in 100 photographs

From 10 January 2017 to 05 March 2017

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Florence and fashion: this ever-winning combination is the pivotal theme of 'Fashion in Florence through the lens of Archive Foto Locchi', one of the Palazzo Pitti exhibitions currently running that you should not miss. The 100 scarcely known shots - taken between 1930 and 1970 – are on display as part of the Palazzo Pitti current exhibitions in the Angiolini Hall until March 5th 2017. These pictures relate the history of fashion in Florence seen through the lens of the photographers of the Foto Locchi 'workshop'.

How did this interesting project get started? The project originates from a collaboration between the Archivio Storico Foto Locchi, the Florence Centre of Italian Fashion, the director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike D. Schmidt and the publishing house Gruppo Editoriali, who all shared the desire to focus and add value to the long-standing link between fashion in Florence and the town itself and, at the same time, the important Foto Locchi photographic archive. This fascinating Palazzo Pitti exhibition also offers the opportunity to invigorate the prominent role of Florence - dating back to the Renaissance period - in the textile and clothing industry.

The Archivio Storico Foto Locchi, with its more than five million images, constitutes a cultural heritage of inestimable value, to the point that it has been marked as a protected institution by MiBACT, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism. A strong and authentic testimony of the birth and the subsequent affirmation of the ‘Made in Italy’ label in the world: the textile, clothing and leather manufacturing sectors combined with the creativity of artisan productions are also of vital importance to maintain and boost employment and business revenues. The perusal of the Archive and its annual diaries - written daily by Foto Locchi photojournalist – is a source of continuous and interesting discoveries: in fact, the research conducted for this photo exhibition in Florence on fashion in Florence has unearthed a note dated 6th June 1948 which reported that a '... Gala evening with the presentation of models' would be held on that very day, an event that gave way to the famous fashion shows that, since 1952, are held regularly at Palazzo Pitti.

Included in the calendar of exhibitions at Palazzo Pitti in 2017, 'Fashion in Florence' is divided into three sections:

  • THE ARTISAN WORKSHOPS. The first part of this current exhibition in Florence presents workshops that since the Middle Ages have been producing high-quality craftsmanship. The latter proved to have been instrumental at the start of the 20th century for the beginning and affirmation of some of the most famous Italian high fashion brands around the world. In the Twenties, the resonance of Florence's craftsmanship had already spread as far as America, so much so that Florence became the favourite destination of rich American heiresses who sought to buy silverware, embroidered lingerie, straw hats and finely decorated leather. A highly fitting example is Salvatore Ferragamo, who, after successfully working in America for thirteen years, took the decision to move back to Florence not only for the city’s extraordinary beauty but also because he was certain of being able to achieve his ambitious goals thanks to the Florentine unique craft productions…. As a matter of fact, time proved him right!

 

  • FASHION IN FLORENCE - from the first post-war events to the legendary fashion shows in the Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti - is the theme of the second section of the exciting exhibition in Florence. A rather important name: Giovanni Battista Giorgini. Thanks to this great Italian entrepreneur, today’s fashion established itself in the Tuscan capital: an austere but amiable man who knew the American market perfectly and who became a buyer in the States, a man able to transform dreams into reality.
    As highlighted by the photos taken by the Foto Locchi reporters during the fashion shows in Palazzo Bianco and the exclusive evening parties in the historic gardens and private palazzos of the city, the newly-born fashion industry turned Florence into a cradle of beauty, elegance and charm.

 

  • In the last section dedicated to FASHION CELEBRITIES, the founders of the most important Florentine maisons - Emilio Pucci, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, just to name a few – portray the birth and development of the recent history of Italian fashion.
    You will also find the big names of the most famous Italian fashion houses whose collections were paraded in Sala Bianca through the years, such as Emilio Schberth, Roberto Capucci, Simonetta Colonna di Cesarò and the Fontana sisters, personalities who had the courage to take up the challenge alongside Giorgini and transformed Italian fashion of the time. But the protagonists of this exhibition are not just from Italy. 'Fashion in Florence through the lens of Archivio Foto Locchi', a must-see exhibitions in Florence, will also present special international guests, from Christian Dior to the Duke of Windsor, Paulette Goddard and the beautiful Audrey Hepburn, Elsa Schiaparelli to the divine Maria Callas.

 

The Florence photo exhibition 'Fashion in Florence through the lens of Archive Foto Locchi' opens on March 5th, 2017 at Palazzo Pitti to reveal the history of Florentine fashion from the Thirties to the Seventies…an incredible plunge into the past!

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By Insidecom Editorial Staff