Tracks 2018 – Let yourself be guided by fashion

Florence – At the gallery of fashion and costume is inaugurated the new exhibition between fashion, art and travel

To let oneself be, or to abandon oneself, to trust oneself, to give oneself up.

Driving, i.e. leading, accompanying, making way, educating, orienting, piloting, manoeuvring.

Fashion, from the Latin modus: fashion, fashion. Style, look, trend, vogue.

A perfect title for the new layout of the Galleria del Costume that opens on July 16 in Palazzo Pitti. The theme in fact combines paintings and sculptures from the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art with clothes and accessories, but this time it is not only about high fashion, unique pieces, but, mainly, the most agile pret-à-porter.

Curated by Caterina Chiarelli and Simonella Condemi in continuity with the previous installation (Tracce, inaugurated in December 2017), what opens this morning is the second chapter of this new series of exhibition-arrangements, which is expressed along the path of the rooms in a more calm tone than the first version, but characterized by a fluid and linear reading.

Only the first room retains the colours of nature and flowers of the previous selection, just as in this space and in the two rooms in front of the entrance the paintings on the walls remain. Traces, because such are those left by modern canvases and sculptures in this discourse dedicated to fashion, in a succession of combinations, some immediately understandable for their natural proximity, and others contrasting, almost breaking. Some are simply evocative, others feed mutual suggestions. Among the many wonders, more or less ephemeral, collected in this new setting, stands out, in room 2, the sumptuous white dress with a mother-of-pearl tone that Capucci made, in 1986, as the costume of the Vestal for the “Norma” by Bellini, which seems to reinterpret in an original way a sort of birth of Venus in the foam of the waves of the sea. On the wall, in a very refined dialogue between whites, are the white characters standing in Eternal Idiom painted in 1899 by Giulio Bargellini.

But the references, fashion and art, do not end here: within Tracce has created a section dedicated to the passion for travel, and the etiquette of fashion related to transport, which has its own guidelines not to be forgotten in other moments. Taste and style should not be neglected even in the name of practicality and utility, and elegance must also guide us in moments of adventure and travel: the meaning of the title becomes clear, in relation to the exhibition The Elegance of Speed, currently running until September 16 in the Andito degli Angiolini at Palazzo Pitti, which presents memorabilia and photographs of vintage cars and motor races from 1934 to 1965, from the Archivio Foto Locchi.

The section of Traces 2018 dedicated to travel presents clothes and accessories from the collections of the Museum of Fashion and Costume, suitable to be worn or stored in a suitcase during the trip, but not necessarily born specifically for this purpose. These include hats, foulards, glasses, gloves, or more unusual items, such as a folding crutch container or an umbrella case. There are bags and suitcases, of every shape and for every purpose, ranging from the beauty case to James Collard Vickery’s linens, to the suitcase of the early ‘900 with labels that recall a stay at the prestigious Regina Palace hotel in Stresa and the romantic cruise on the Nile. A shrine also offers a small collection of vintage toys inspired by travel, with cars, coaches, drivers and travelers.

“Madam! … Why sit on your hands?  is written on the lid of a box. The phrase in this case takes on an ironic meaning, or “why is it ashamed to show your hands?”, given that the small container collects all the necessaire in a reduced format for a perfect manicure indispensable even during a trip, any type of trip.

The clothes are basically comfortable garments, suits or jackets, but also capable of evoking particular situations such as Emilio Pucci’s suit, blouse and skirt with balloon, which reminds us of racing in dazzling uncovered cars, with the scarf fluttering around his neck as in Hollywood movies of the fifties.

“There couldn’t have been a better time to open this exhibition,” says the Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, “the theme of travel, adventure and travel in our culture is linked to summer and holidays. But also to a whole series of initiatives that in recent months are taking place a few meters from the Galleria del Costume: the exhibition The Elegance of Speed in the Andito degli Angiolini, with images from the Photo Archive Locchi that also highlight the taste for sportswear related to cars, and the combination of fashion and motor, and the exhibition The horse in time at the Limonaia of the Garden of Boboli, where the horse is enhanced in antiquity, even as a means of transport.

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