The Palazzo Hours

Posted by Laura
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Silvery caftan: a long, lamé rustle of printed leaves... pale green, pink, silver... worn here by Donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto. Caftan by Biki, of Borromeo fabric. Necklace, earrings: Coppola & Toppo. K.J.L. bracelets. Photographed at the Conte and Contessa Crespi's apartment in Rome.

With Milan Fashion Week coming to an end yesterday, it seems prescient to look back to the styles that originally gained Italian fashion attention on a world stage—though now so closely linked with the luxury megabrands that started in leather goods (Gucci and Prada), in the 1950s and 60s Italian fashion was known for clothes that appeared like the textile evocation of palazzo and villa living. Jeweled caftans, silk pyjamas, ornate patterns—all effortlessly elegant, refined and cultured.


Editorial by Henry Clarke for Vogue, November 1965

"Zingy at-homes clothes from Italy... worn here by young international beauties who adore clothes like these themselves... and have made them adored all over the world."

After-ski flowers: bright reds and yellows, splashed on a long black velvet coat... legs to match. Worn—with a hood and muff of tawny swansdown—by Donna Selvaggia Borromeo d'Adda. Costume by Valentino Boutique. Fabric by Gandini. Shoes by Tino Ferrario. Photographed at the Conte and Contessa Crespi's apartment in Rome.

"From the Italian Boutique collections: a bubble of fresh ideas, surprises, delights... ravishing new ways to look at home in the palazzo, worn by one Scottish, one Italian beauty."


Witty black-and-white pyjamas: top in smashing Harlequin squares, black standaway neckline... court jester's trousers: one white leg, one black. Worn by Baroness Fiona Thyssen-Bornemisza, in Contessa Volpi di Misurata's Roman palazzo. Pyjamas by Galitzine, in Orlon jersey. Shoes by Lucareli. Jewels, Petochi.


Witty neckline—knitted: Donna Allegra Caracciolo in Naka's backless white-and-gold knitted top with the necklaces knitted on; long white wool skirt; gold lamé earrings.

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