Italian fashion designers are known and loved all over the world for innovative fashion and stunning design that is ever so wearable. Can anyone but the Italians create wearable art that takes the breath away? Historically, Italy began to surface as a desirable fashion source or role model in the 1000s, the year being a tongue twister to say, and the Italians being a tough act to follow with fame for starting the Renaissance. The Renaissance is a nostalgic period which is the time in history known for including a revival among arts and the classical period which was also the same time as the budding of Christianity. The cultural or artistic influences of a Greek, Roman or Oriental nature were abundant at this time and show in the articles of clothing that were produced then.
Given all of these influences the Italians’ flair for fashion became the most popular in all of Europe. Italy continued to lead the fashionables in Europe for several more hundred years going from being the choice of Queen Catherine de’ Medici to being fashioned after the paintings of Raphael or Michelangelo among other favorite Italian painters. The popularity of these fashions seemed to be due to the elaborate fabrics and embellishments included in the designs as well as the accessories that either accompanied the clothing, or were meant to be used with it. Items were embellished with brocade, jewels or velvet, just whatever was elaborate or beautiful and consisted of fashion items such as dresses, shoes, robes, fabric, shoes or jewelry. In the 1400s skirts were dramatically pleated or gathered and even often made so as to reveal another dress hiding beneath them. By the 1600s French competition beat out the Italian designers until a period falling in the 1950s when the Italians again stood out. Designers in the 1950s included Giovanni Giorgini who successfully put the Italians back of Europe’s popular list with a fashion show he led in Florence, Italy in February of 1951.
Some of the most popular fashion icons wearing Italian fashion throughout the 1900s and beyond include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Christina Aguilera, Victoria Beckham and Lady Diana, Princess of Wales. Celebrity men wearing Italian labels included or include Peter Sellers and even musician Elton John. The fashion capital cities of Italy began with Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome or Vicenza in the beginning and over time have gravitated heavily toward Rome, Florence and Milan with Rome and Milan being the leading fashion capital cities currently. Italian designers and their perspective labels include Gucci, one of the most popular among celebrities, Armani, Bulgari, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo and Prada. Giorgio Armani is a creator of fashion wear of the high-end caliber, cosmetics, perfumes and even eye glasses. Bulgari produces jewelry, handbags, watches and accessories. Versace specializes in luxury fashions, items for the home and makeup. Dolce & Gabbana tends toward an urban influence and markets eyewear and clothing. Gucci’s lines include luggage, clothing, shoes and distinctive fabric treatments in many of the products. Prada specializes in hats as well as high-end clothing, shoes and accessories. In the past and now Italian fashion is a sought after commodity and a mark of prestige that serves as a main influence over all the other designers in the world today.