Today, the fashion world made a pause and looked back, when there were muses of fashion designers and true inspiration everywhere. Today, the fashion editor and style icon Anna Piaggi died, at the age of 81, in her Milan apartment and the legends of fashion remained silent in her honor. My friend and co-traveler in the world of fashion, Mika explains in a contributing article, why Anna Piaggi is still alive.
Anna Piaggi front raw at Lanvin
Waiting for the Yves Saint Laurent show
Anna Piaggi at the Vercase show, 2010 and at Rifat Ozber, 2011.
Anna Piaggi in a Giafranco Ferre vintage dress.
I remember my days in London and I won't forget, among other fashion oriented lifetime experiences, a lonely, rainy Sunday morning in February of 2006 when I found myself in Cromwell road. As I was once more fascinated by the Victorian building where the Victoria & Albert Museum is situated, I was thinking of the importance of art into someone's orientation and goals. The thoughts started to uncover when a line came in my mind from a history book, whose title I can't really remember, reading that: Henry Cole, the museum's first director was a genius art lover who introduced late night openings, made possible by the use of gas lighting. This was to enable in the words of Cole 'to ascertain practically what hours are most convenient to the working classes'.
And then, that poster with a strange oval face of a granny attracted my attention. She was pictured in a dress made of newspapers, reminiscent of the Galliano era in Dior, with red lipstick and a wooden crook, evidence of her age. The title of the exhibition was 'Fashion-ology' referring to her idiosynchratic way of looking at clothes. Anna Piaggi, was a fashion journalist in the ’60s and the editor of Ariadne (the first women’s magazine in Italy) but she got widely known for her writings in Italian edition of Vogue and in the 1980s, in the avant-garde magazine Vanity. Her voice was especially established through her double page spreads in the Italian Vogue, where her artistic flair was given free expression in a montage of images and text, with layout by Luca Stoppini.
A fashion consultant (as we would say nowadays), her associates in the fashion world included Karl Lagerfeld (from the 1970s) and Manolo Blahnik, who is the designer of many of her shoes. She was the muse of British milliner Stephen Jones and a huge admirer of Vivienne Westwood. Piaggi, a clothes collector herself, has in her possession over 2865 dresses and 265 pairs of shoes! Anna Piaggi remains one of my very very favorite women within fashion, an multifaceted persona with no boundaries, a fascinating writer who was selling the concept of the collection, not its clothes. Today, she died in her appartment in Milan, at the age of 81, full of life experiences and a style that will always be remembered but never imitated. The blue fringe, the extravagant clothes, the million hats she was wearing and the most authentic smile! Rest in peace Anna, you 'll be the only one!
mika p simone./