You’d think with the copious amount of attention paid to a few key designers that the history of fashion lies in the stories of just a handful of people. In reality, these notorious icons – the ones who have become household names – only represent the tip of the iceberg. Several designers have been just as influential, but for one reason or another their names have been lost in the sea of fashion dialogue. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Roberto Capucci is not a widely recognized name: especially since his entire career was based on a vehement distaste for the demands of the fashion cycle. Representing what I would describe as the greatest case of irony in the history of fashion, Roberto Capucci’s attempt to escape from fashion trends and production schedules has become a source of inspiration for rising designers hoping to make their way within the industry.
I’ve noticed a theme in my fashion classes this semester; naturally we discuss the kings and queens of design, but we also spend a considerable amount of time discovering those less famous. One of our assignments was to visit the Roberto Capucci museum at Villa Bardini – a bit of a hike from the city center. Honestly, I probably never would have made it up there if my grade didn’t depend on it. Now having visited the museum and seen the incredible sculpture dresses I studied in class, I’m so glad this was part of the curriculum. I love that my professors want me to go out into Florence and discover hidden gems; they want us to have a deeper understanding of this city than what the normal tourist attractions can provide. Popular venues like the Ferragamo and Gucci museums of course communicate very important segments of fashion history, but this history would be fragmented without lesser-known designers like Capucci.
The Capucci museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 10:00-4:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-6:00 p.m. I highly recommend a visit during your stay in Florence! You can get your workout in and learn about the history of Italian fashion all in one trip – rather efficient if you ask me!