It’s a jungle out there in the fashion world, as the season of Pitti Uomo 2019 and related revelry consistently proves. An additional evidence is in the year’s first exhibition from the Uffizi Galleries group: Animalia Fashion, opening at the Museo della Moda e del Costume (museum of Fashion and Costume in Florence).
It’s not an exhbition, its a magical Haute Couture show which celebrates nature and the animal kingdom’s variety of shapes, colors and patterns, specifically as a source of inspiration for the fashion world.
The focus is exclusively on the contemporary Fashion: the stunning accessories, garments and jewelery on display span the years 2000 to 2018. Featured Designers include: Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce&Gabbana, Valentino, Chanel, Maison Schiaparelli , Roberto Cavalli, Lever Couture, Jean Paul Gaultier, Iris Van Herpen.
Let’s not expect leopard spots, but babirussa teeth (wow.. didn’t even know which animal it was) Big absent zebra and tiger; attention is focused on ... all the others, those which very often frighten us, horrifies or are familiar just from the fairy tales books.
Eighteen breathtaking exhibition halls starting with the section dedicated to spiders (not recommended to arachnophobics!) and then continue with swans, shells, hedgehogs, fish, corals, parrots, lobsters, babirussas, porcupine fishes, snakes, beetles, flies, bees, crocodiles and end with butterflies.
Real stuffed animals and reptiles in formaldehyde, borrowed from the Florentine Museum of Natural History La Specola, pairs with old masters paintings, objects from the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of Florence, and with reproductions of drawings from ancient bestiaries manuscripts. Mix them all with the elegant furnishings of Palazzo Pitti, its deep and rich colors of the brocaded walls, enlighted by the crystal chandeliers and you will be part of a dreamlike experience of Fashion, History and Nature.
I have real goosebumps while dreaming to wear an all-white evening dress like a dazzling swan... Or maybe an hand-embroidered butterflies corset?
Exhibition lasts until May 5th ... there’s time to come back with the excuse to purchase its official catalogue and experience this magnificent work of art, once again.