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across art and fashion

The Tuscan city of Florence has long been regarded as a
world centre for culture and art, and this is set to be emphasised even further
thanks to a new exhibit being held across Florence.

The city-wide exhibit, Across Art and Fashion, examines the
relationship between the two forms of expression, and was opened Thursday at
the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, with other elements of the exhibit also being
shown across four other venues in the city.

With each exhibit complimenting the others, together the end
product comprehensively examines the relationship between art and fashion,
widely recognised as two of Italy’s most significant cultural contributions.

The exhibit takes visitors back to the time of the
Renaissance in the 15th century, when the two forms of art and
fashion were much less separate than they are today. According to Stefania
Ricci, director of the Ferragamo Museum, “there was no difference between
artisan and artist.” This was shown in examples where people we today know as
artists, such as Raphael, also created fashion items, such as hand fans, and
textile designs.

She added: “Then slowly the two worlds separated, because fashion
was functional, the reality. Art became always more conceptual. But what is
interesting is they always kept an eye one on the other.”

Fast forward to the 1800s, and you can see that the
influence also worked the other way; fashion was also inspiring artists. Shown
at the Ferragamo Museum as well as the Modern Art Gallery of Pitti Palace
especially, many paintings and artworks reflected the fashions of the time.
According to Ricci, featuring the fashion of the day helped artists to convey
modernity in their works. This has been emphasised in the exhibits by pairing
the artworks with similar, or sometimes even identical, items of clothing from
the period.

The exhibit also showcases fashion from more than a dozen
Italian brands who, over the centuries, have made Italy the leading location
for all things fashion. Among the items on show include a Schiaparelli skirt
suit with buttons made by Alberto Giacometti, and a 1922 Vionnet silken tunic
dress, on loan from the Louvre for a limited time only.

As well as at the Ferragamo Museum and the Modern Art
Gallery, the exhibit will also take place in the National Central Library and
the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, as well as at the Textile Museum in
nearby Prato; all easily reached from our Florence villas. After over a year in
the making, the exhibit seeks to highlight the important relationship between
art and fashion that has been so important to the city’s livelihood and legacy
for hundreds of years.

Image: sailko, available
under Creative Commons

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