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Italiana: Italy through the Lens of Fashion, 1971-2001

Italy through the lens of fashion 1971-2001 is a project in the form of an exhibition and a book, conceived and curated by Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi.

Italiana celebrates the Italian fashion system over the seminal three decades in which it cemented relations and exchanges between the members of a generation of designers, industrialists, artists, architects and intellectuals that defined Italy’s image in the world and put it on the map of international culture.

The long period 1971-2001 was the one in which the processes of challenge to the global balances so laboriously put in place after the Second World War were made manifest. The date on which it begins symbolically marks the break with high fashion and the beginning of the period of Italian ready-to-wear: it was the year in which Walter Albini chose Milan for the first show of the line that bore his name, and it was the year in which the women’s liberation movement emerged in Italy. The date on which it ends is emblematic and marks the transition between two centuries: Italian fashion sloughed its skin and finally became a global phenomenon. It was also the year of the attacks of 9/11, traumatic sign of radical and definitive crisis in an international system already shaken by the geopolitical changes of the nineties.

Italiana: Italy through the Lens of Fashion, 1971-2001 takes the form of a journey through Italian fashion and reveals its nature as a polycentric phenomenon, able to draw on a whole range of expertise and intelligence. The exhibition explores a multiplicity of objects and visions and tells a fascinating story of fashion over the three crucial decades that saw it define itself in symbiotic relationship with the social, political and cultural history of our country. 

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