This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to the extraordinary and complex Diana Vreeland (Paris, 1903 – New York, 1989). It will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.
The title stresses the need today to decontextualise the many facets that go to make up her kaleidoscopic career and to reconnect them in a new reading of the multiple meanings underlying her now legendary professional and human experience.
The exhibition will not limit itself to displaying some garments, although it will indeed be possible to admire many and extraordinary items; it will instead ‘short-circuit’ time, the articles on show and their ‘aura’, showing how fashion is both a complex phenomenon and the perfect observatory for interpreting the tastes and trends of contemporary society. The aim being to restore a sense of the “magnificent gait” with which Diana Vreeland processed through fashion of the 20th century, initially during her years at “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Vogue”, and then in her role as Special Consultant for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
At the exhibition, the visitor will be able to admire garments drawn from the history of fashion, which are coming to Italy for the first time, including some models by Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy worn by Diana Vreeland, loaned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. There will also be some extraordinary articles by Balenciaga from the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum, some of the most iconic creations by Saint Laurent from the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and, finally, other precious garments that have made some of the history of 20th-century fashion, loaned from prestigious private collections and company archives, and including such labels as Chanel, Schiaparelli, Missoni, Pucci together with costumes for the Ballets.
On 10th March, and to coincide with the exhibition, the Università Iuav di Venezia will be organising an international congress in collaboration with the London College of Fashion (University of the Arts London) and with the Centre for Fashion Studies (Stockholm University). The congress, dedicated to the discipline of fashion curating, will see the participation of the leading names in the fields of international fashion museums and the curating of fashion exhibitions: Harold Koda, Akiko Fukai, Kaat Debo, Alexandra Palmer, Amy de la Haye and Stefano Tonchi.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Mauro Grifoni and Vicenzaoro by Vicenza Fiera; with the participation of Sistema Moda Veneto and Vente-Privee.
Technical partners for the installation: Fusina and La Rosa Mannequin
Organisation Palazzo Fortuny: Tiziana Alvisi and Elena Santagiustina
Organisation and public relations: Civita Tre Venezie
English and Italian catalogue published by Marsilio