Turin

Capucci's glitterati gowns showcased in Turin

Fifty elegant works epitomising glamour on display

Capucci's glitterati gowns showcased in Turin

(By Kate Carlisle) Turin, March 27 - Not everyone can don meters of silk, satin and velvet, and make it work. Most of all, few designers can craft a mass of fabric and turn it into incomparable elegance. Fashion designer Roberto Capucci, born in Rome in 1930, spent decades doing just that for women like Italian sex symbol Silvana Mangano, princesses Pallavicini and Borghese, American actress Esther Williams and many more. His architecture-inspired creations were worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Swanson and have influenced generations of younger designers Fifty of his most elegant and wonderful works that epitomised glamour and have become icons are now on display in the Venaria Reale palace near Turin until September 8. The man who was defined by Christian Dior as "the best Italian fashion creator" when he was only 27 made his international debut in 1951 when he participated in the first edition of Italian fashion collective shows in Florence. "Roberto Capucci. La ricerca della regalita'" (In search of Regality) follows his career that spans over five decades. "You created 50 years of joy," Bulgarian opera singer Raina Kabaivanska told Capucci at the exhibition opening last Friday. "Thank you because you made me beautiful. If a person does not have the inner strength to wear the creations of Roberto, they will eat you alive," she said. Together with Capucci's glitterati gowns, the unique display also includes sample designs, photographs, footage and writings documenting the master of cloth's career, starting in his modest Rome atelier in the 1950s. "These dresses are the story of my life. Between these walls are the emotions of my days," Capucci said. One of his most famous creations, the Nove Gonne (Nine Skirts), created in 1956, was featured in a Cadillac convertible commercial in 1957. The brazen garment is made of lipstick-red taffeta and fans out into nine tiered circular skirts, open in front and trailing to the floor in the back. Nove Gonne was "inspired by a stone dropped into pool of still water," Capucci said. After decades of fabric sculpting, Capucci said that he was still inspired, and especially by seeing streams of his work displayed in the historic Piedmont palace. "My enthusiasm is identical to that of 1950, when I started working," Capucci said.

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