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Italian Fashion

The story of Italian fashion began on February 25, 1951 when Count Giorgini staged a fashion show for an international audience in Florence. André Suarès wrote that "fashion is the best form of farce, though nobody laughs because everyone takes part". Dress has always been regarded as a means of self-assertion in society, an instrument of personal confirmation, and an important means of communication for individuals and peoples.

Giorgini rekindled the myth of the noble classes by opening up his palace for fashion shows, providing a fantastic, courtly setting steeped in history for the presentation of fashion collections. Members of the nobility themselves were often the ones who wore the dresses. Only these nobles could, by their education, customs and culture, wear these fine clothes properly, and would end up presenting them in the courtly rooms of their own abodes or in museums alongside sculptures of fame, the epitome themselves of beauty. Italian fashion also influenced celebrities. All of this went towards creating a stereotyped yet realistic image of Italy.

In the 1960s everything changed, the protests and industrial boom altered social roles and status. Now everyone had access to high fashion as new styles in manufactured garments came onto the market. People across the world began to dress stylishly at a low cost. International acclaim for Italy fashion reached its height with the triumph of "Prêt-à-porter" in the 70s and 80s when Milan became a fashion landmark, continuing through into the current trends of recent years inspired by avant-garde art and cultural movements of the 20th century.