Fashion Design History Comes to Life at the Museo Della Moda in Milan


Fashion design history is brought to life by Palazzo Morando, on Via Sant'Andrea 6, Milan, Italy. This lovely Renaissance building was restored a few years ago, and this work uncovered an interesting frieze at the top of the faƧade. The municipal authorities intelligently decided to use this space for a Fashion Museum, something that is absolutely necessary in one of the world's fashion capitals. Palazzo Morando is right at the heart of Milan's top fashion district, close to Via Montenapoleone. The municipal advisor for Culture, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, said that rather than being just a museum, the space is "a venue involved in research into visual design and the promotion of a young and fresh image of Fashion" (Municipality of Milan press release).

From 2 March 2010, four interesting shows on fashion design history ranging from 1800s fashion history right through to the latest urban fashions can be seen at Palazzo Morando (admission is free). On the ground floor is "The Thread of Dreams, Frette 2010-1860," which presents an interesting portrait of the linen and textiles created by this maison. The Frette Historic Archive is the most important in the world for jacquard textiles, and the show is particularly interesting for its demonstration of how a fashion textile is created, from concept to industrial implementation. There are many examples of personalization, with emblems, crests and logos for various institutional clients.

On the first floor, there is an exhibition of paintings from the Luigi Beretta collection, purchased by the Municipality of Milan in 1934, along with actual garments dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The 22 halls of this section include an installation of garments within the setting of an 18th century aristocratic residence - exactly what Palazzo Morando once was.

The show titled "Fashion details. The 1920s and 1930s in the Mangiameli collection" presents a historic collection donated to the Municipality of Milan by the Mangiameli sisters Anna, Lucia and Ninni. It comprises accessories, mainly bags, buckles and brooches, accumulated during the family's work in the leatherware company founded by their father in 1928.

Lastly, "The Tirelli Collection, atelier costumes for cinema and theatre" presents the Tirelli dressmaking business and its work on cosumes. This show was curated by Oscar prize-winner Gabriella Pescucci. The Tirelli maison has won eight Oscars for its costumes, and has received another four nominations. These garments are absolutely spectacular to behold, and they are remarkable for their historical and philological accuracy.

This is a great start for the Museo della Moda, and there is more to come. On 8 April 2010 at 11.30 a.m., there will be a press conference for the launch of "A Shaded View on Fashion Film," the first fashion film festival, created by Diane Pernet. The festival will run in Milan, from 25 to 30 May 2010. Michael Nyman will be present at the press conference, with the world premier screening of his only video with links to the world of fashion. It is ironically titled "The Cleaners wear Prada."