Milan fashion week has officially wrapped. As one of the big four fashion weeks and one of the greatest fashion cities in the world, there is a luxe connotation to something being crafted in Italy. The region has been known for fine fabrics and luxurious goods since the twelfth century but throughout history there was always something alienating them from a global market. Following WW II the dominance of highly structured French couture and casualness of American sportswear left room for a new voice of refined elegant Italian designers. The very first Milan Fashion week was held in 1958. With goods influenced by decades of art and history, it is no small wonder that Italian visionaries continue to inspire and be inspired. Of the most influential Italian founded labels, many are still showing in Milan and at fashion weeks around the world. From Valentino, whose first celebrity client was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, to Salvatore Ferragamo, the preferred shoe designer of Marilyn Monroe; Italian style has elevated the elegance of some of the most beautiful men and women of our time. Emilio Pucci even took his designs to a very different kind of runway, by creating uniforms for flight attendants in the 1960s. Scroll through the photos for a glimpse of the influence Italian fashion has had over the years.
(L) Elsa Schiaparelli in Elsa Schiaparelli, Photograph by Man Ray, 1931. (R) Salvador Dalí, Aphrodisiac Dinner Jacket, Photo by Attilio Maranzano, 1936.
(L) Schiaparelli Couture, Photo by Georges Saad, 1941. (R) Elsa’s daughter Maria Luisa “Gogo” Schiaparelli in the wedding dress her mother designed in the pages of Vogue, Photo by Horst P, Conde Nast Archives, 1941.
(L) Elsa Schiaparelli Automne-Hiver, Photo Henry Clarke, 1950. (R) Katherine Dunham tries on shoes with Salvatore Ferragamo, 1950.
(L) Schiaparelli Place Vendôme, Photo by Walter Carone, 1950. (R) Evening gown by Elsa Schiaparelli, Vogue, Photo by John Rawlings, April 1951.
(L) During the first Italian fashion show in Florence, Salvatore Ferragamo launches "kimo", a sandal with an interchangeable ankle sock, 1951. (R) Schiaparelli, 1951.
(L) Model wearing floral dress with sash by Schiaparelli, Photo Henry Clarke, 1954. (R) Schiaparelli, 1954.
(L) Audrey Hepburn in shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo, Funny Face, 1957. (R) Marilyn Monroe wearing Salvatore Ferragamo pumps in Some Like it Hot, 1959.
(L) Valentino Evening Dress, 1960s. (R) Braniff Airlines Flight Attendants wearing Pucci uniforms, 1960s.
(L) Flight attendant in a uniform designed by Emilio Pucci. The plastic bubble helmet, was designed to protect hairdos on windy tarmacs. 1960s. (R) Flight Attendant fashion by Emilio Pucci for Braniff Airlines, 1960s.
(L) Model wearing Emilio Pucci, Photo by Henry Clarke, 1960s. (R) Emilio Pucci, 1960s.
(L) Harper's Bazaar, Emilio Pucci Outfit, Photo by Sara Gambarelli, December 1963. (R) Silk Jersey Pajamas by Emilio Pucci, 1963.
(L) Valentino, 1963. (R) Jackie Kennedy became Valentino’s first American celebrity client, 1964.
(L) Salvatore Ferragamo boots and Micia mini-dress, 1965. (R) Veruschka in Valentino, Photo by Henry Clark, 1966.
(L) Valentino ensemble, Roma Piazza Navona, Vogue Italia, 1966. (R) Valentino Coat, Photo by Enzo Muzii, Vogue Italia, November 1966.
Jackie Kennedy in Valentino, 1967.
(L) Mirella Petteni in Valentino Couture, Photo by Gian Paolo Barbieri, Spring 1967. (R) Raquel Welch in Valentino, French Vogue, 1967.
(L) Valentino, Rome, 1967. (R) Valentino Couture, Photo by Franco Rubartelli, Spring, 1967.
(L) Ivory colored satin cloak, handpainted with coral motifs and coral crepe trousers, Valentino Haute Couture, S/S 1968. (R) Marisa Berenson in a two piece white organza dress embroidered in flowers with plisse frills on the sleeves by Valentino, Photo by Henry Clarke, Vogue, 1968.
(L) Valentino, 1968. (R) Valentino White Collection, 1968.
(L) Lingerie Ad, Emilio Pucci, 1968. (R) Emilio Pucci, 1970s.
(L) Jackie O carrying Gucci "The Jackie" bag, 1970s. (R) Sophia Loren at the Gucci Rome store, 1970s.
(L) Fendi Astuccio Fur, F/W 1971. (R) Giorgio Armani fitting a model with a strapless dress from his Spring 1978 collection.
(L) Jerry Hall, Rosie Vela, and Gia Carangi for Versace, Photo By Richard Avedon, 1979. (R) Jerry Hall in Giorgio Armani, Vogue UK, 1979.
(L) Madonna wearing Giorgio Armani, 1980s. (R) Gia wearing Giorgio Armani, 1980s.
(L) Patricia Van Ryckeghem for Giorgio Armani, Photo by Aldo Fallai, A/W 1983. (R) Giorgio Armani Clothing, Photo by Chris von Wagenheim, American Vogue, April 1981.
(L) Giorgio Armani jacket and pants, Vogue, October 1981. (R) Giorgio Armani, Photo by Bob Krieger, American Vogue, March 1982.
Giorgio Armani, Photos by Bob Krieger, American Vogue, March 1982.
(L) Iman for Versace, 1983. (R) Janice Dickinson for Versace, 1983.
Janice Dickinson for Versace, 1983.
(L) Michelle Pfeiffer in Giorgio Armani in Scarface, 1983. (R) Giorgio Armani Donna advertising campaign, A/W 1984-85.
(L) Giorgio Armani, Photo by Aldo Fallai, American Vogue, October 1986. (R) Moschino Coat, Photo by Irving Penn for American Vogue, October 1986.
(L) Giorgio Armani, Photo by Sheila Metzner for American Vogue, January 1986. (R) Yasmin Le Bon in Giorgio Armani, Photo by Peter Lindbergh, US Vogue, 1987.
(L) Linda Evangelista & Cindy Crawford in Dolce & Gabbana, Photo by Peter Lindbergh, Vogue Italia, 1989. (R) Salvatore Ferragamo, American Vogue, August 1989.
(L) Isabelle Rossellini for Dolce & Gabbana, Photo by Steven Meisel, F/W 1990. (R) Beverly Peele, Emma Sjoberg, Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp, Cindy Crawford, Niki Taylor, Stephanie Seymour & Carla Bruni for Versace, 1990s.
(L) Karen Mulder in Versace, 1991. (R) Linda Evangelista Versace, 1991.
(L) Linda Envagelista in Versace, Photo by Herb Ritts, 1991. (R) Versace Runway, 1991.
(L) Christy Turlington for Prada, 1993. (R) Amber Valletta for Tom Ford for Gucci S/S 1996. (which we have in black in the shop!)