Saturday, January 11, 2014



The Galleria del Costume (Palazzo Pitti, Florence; from December 3, 2013 to  May 18, 2014) opens its doors to an accessory not destined to pass unnoticed. This will be the first monographic show dedicated to hats.  The Museum’s collections of this accessory, attributable to the generosity of many donors, amount to more thanone thousand items usually kept in storage.  Only a part of these will be exhibited. Most of items on show are by famed fashion houses including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, John Rocha, and Gianfranco Ferré.  There will also be a substantial number of items by celebrated international milliners of the present and past, such as Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones, Caroline Reboux, Claude Saint-Cyr and Paulette.  Finally, this will also be the first show to exhibit creations by Italian and Florentine milliners, some of them all but unknown.
The hat thus becomes a ‘work’ of art with its aesthetic harmony consisting in its ‘sculptural’ conformation, chromatic component and ornamental elegance. Superintendent for the Polo Museale Fiorentino, Cristina Acidini writes:  «This exhibition turns its attention to the changeable and subjective hat, the hat as a “work of art”, the hat as an “object of design” of the XX century and of the third millennium.» 
Director of the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Caterina Chiarelli stresses that hats can be studied from the historical-artistic viewpoint or they can be interpreted under the purely aesthetic profile, taking the liberty to formulate judgments or to express oneself using all-inclusive adjectives like “nice”, “imaginative”, “fantastic” and “fun”. The element of play prevails over the educational purpose in this exhibition and this is the message we want to launch and that Katia Sanchioni writes about.
The exhibition presents important loans from Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini, a private collector of haute couture and an illustrious donor of the Galleria del Costume, which are characterised for their value, taste and style.  This is also the opportunity to exhibit the extraordinary sketches MaestroAlberto Lattuada has created especially for the show, as well as to draw attention to the specimens created by Clemente Cartoni, famous Roman milliner in the 1950s and 60s.
The exhibition promoters are:  Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti, Firenze Musei. The show also benefits from the contributions of theConsortium Il Cappello di Firenze (Angiolo Frasconi, bettina®-Raffaello BettiniLuca della Lama produced and distributed  by Facopel Produzione, Grevi, Corti by Cleò, Marzi Cappelli Firenze, Nanà Firenze by MazzantiPiume, Luigi & Guido Tesi, Soprattutto… Cappelli, Trendintex, Memar, Fratelli Reali & C spa, Santelli Francesca, Inverni Firenze 1892, Michelagnoli Giuseppe & Figli, Ambuchi e Bandinelli).  The show will exhibit some of the most characteristic specimens by the major Tuscan firms of the hat-making sector, heirs of the old artisanal production of the Straw Hat of Florence. The catalogue published by Sillabe contains historical-scientific profiles by Simona Fulceri and texts by Katia Sanchioni, Aurora Fiorentini, Dora Liscia Bemporad, and Nicola Squicciarino.

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