Where pure absurdity tip toes the border of fashion brilliance, is where you can always count on finding Italian fashion icon Anna Piaggi. Her life and career have been sprinkled by As, Vs, wild outfits, the reddest shades of lipstick, double page spreads, and wearable vintage. These are all things Anna is known for, and each is equally represented in her â€œFashion-ologyâ€ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum running until April 23, 2006.
The exhibit is divided into 13 statements, allowing a peek into her fashion madness and the flow of her career. The relationship between Anna and Italian Vogue goes back to the early 1970s and she continues to be a creative consultant for the magazine, continuously producing her famous Double Pages, also called Doppie Pagine (D.P). The Double Pages remain the most significant evidence of her knowledge. Anna and Vanity; she then became the editor-in-chief of Vanity from 1981-1983.
The four most influential men in her life are sprinkled throughout the exhibition. Anna and Alfa: her late husband and fashion historian Alfa Castaldi.
Anna and Vern: an antique collector that continues to inspire Anna.
Anna and Antonio: the illustrator Antonio Lopez.
Anna and Karl Lagerfield: designer and friend of Anna’s.
“I thought of a concentrate of images and visual stimuli, a vitamin-filled Vogue juice,” stated Anna in her book Fashion Algebra on her reason for the Double Pages.
Anna started coming to London to collect vintage couture, which spurred the trend of wearable vintage. She began mixing her vintage pieces with modern ones, a style she’s now famous for starting. While in London she became intrigued with the funky street trends such as punks, pirates, and pearly queens. Then slogans and suffragettes became her fetish. These bites of London are personified in some of her most photographed outfits, and present in her Double Page spreads.
Thirteen of Anna’s favourite outfits are shown in all their bright and bold glory in the final exhibit. They stand lively and full-bodied on top of a giant red A, and are by designers she promoted at the beginning of her career. The outfits drive the feeling home that Anna never wanted to go unnoticed and always wanted to spur creative thought.
By Amanda Conner