History of fashion: an exhibition

Vittorio Corcos | Ritratto di Carolina Maraini Sommaruga

Vittorio Corcos, Ritratto di Carolina Maraini Sommaruga, 1901.
Roma, Fondazione per Istituto Svizzero


Paintings, sculptures, fans and period dresses will trace, in the rooms of the Züst Art Gallery, located in Rancate in the near Ticino, a crucial phase in history of fashion.
In the late 19th century women felt the need to “be fashionable” even outside their own homes.

It’s the paintings by great artists such as Giovanni Segantini, Gaetano Previati, Federico Zandomeneghi, Giuseppe De Nittis and many more that illustrate the rapid and surprising evolution of women’s clothing, and therefore this key moment of history of fashion and costume.
Their works will be displayed in the exhibition “DIVINE CREATURE. The woman and the fashion in the arts of the late nineteenth century”

READ ALSO: Cristobal Balenciaga, a refined fashion designer.

Edoardo Tofano | Il ventaglio

Edoardo Tofano, Il ventaglio.
Collezione privata, courtesy Enrico Gallerie d’arte

If there’s a date to remember in history of fashion that’s 1858, because in that year in Paris Worth Haute Couture exploded, soon spread by the first Grand Magasins (the grand department stores), which were a big success in major European metropolises.
The idea that came into Charles Frederick Worth’s mind was revolutionary: his business dealt at the same time with the process of designing fabrics and the exclusive creation of tailor-made models designed by a couturier.
Worth introduced the concept of haute couture which would change forever history of fashion.

That revolution was possible also because a change of the role of women took place: women became the protagonists also outside their own homes, becoming very fashion conscious.
It would be especially through commissioned portraits that women of aristocracy and upper-middle class could convey messages and create their own images.
It’s those paintings that today allow us to follow the rapid and surprising evolution of women’s clothing in that period.

Women sat for painters and sculptors wearing dresses and with hairstyles which followed the dictates imposed by fashion, but which defined their specific social role.
The exhibition “DIVINE CREATURE. The woman and the fashion in the arts of the late nineteenth century” is devoted to that and to many of those women.


DIVINA CREATURA. La donna e la moda nelle arti del secondo Ottocento
Rancate, Pinacoteca cantonale Giovanni Züst
15 Ottobre 2017 – 28 Gennaio 2018

From tuesday to friday: 09.00-12.00 / 14.00-18.00 – saturday, sunday e holidays: 10.00-12.00 / 14.00- 18.00.
Closed: monday; 24/december, 25/december, 31/december

LINK: official website –  /www4.ti.ch/pinacoteca-zuest

READ ALSO: Roberto Capucci, design becomes fashion.

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