While I was in Milan last month, I made some time to go view an exhibition at the Triennale di Milano. It is a contemporary art museum located in Parco Sempione very close to the Cadorna train station. The show was titled ” The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion”.
“The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion” analyzed the language and the new nature of the Italian fashion through the work of its designers and their multiple expressions. From ready-to-wear to street-wear, from footwear to eyewear, from jewelry to hats: a brand new style vocabulary and process.
The presentation was divided up into “vignettes” according to the process of production that was represented; uniform, construction, surface, fabrication, details, archetype, laboratory, ornamental, and generational.
Various Italian artists and on-line magazines lined the gallery walls with their own narratives of the fashion industry. They interpreted what the vocabulary of Italian fashion means to them.
Ornamental and Laboratory
While the “made in Italy” standard is recognized worldwide, it is typically represented by brands that had established themselves in the nineties. New designers in the last 10 years or so have been pushing the envelope with creativity, experimentation and technology. Making this curated collection more about “look at what we are doing now.”
In a world where technology keeps pushing us forward, it’s good to see advances in the fashion industry. For example, an all access on-line magazine or a new material used to make a one of a kind dress. But that said, there is something comforting about carrying through traditions of the “hand”. The details of a beaded bodice, the hand-sewn work of a pleated dress and the workmanship of a perfectly fitting shoe. What’s most interesting to me is when designers are able to combine the “new” with the “old”. This show definitely focused on the latter, making it about the Italian designers and their passion in keeping with tradition but advancing forward so they can keep evolving.