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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Giorgio Sant' Angelo Swimwear 'n Such

The bikini is the evening dress of the future.” Giorgio Sant' Angelo

Sant' Angelo 1968, model Veruschka





1980s Sant' Angelo

I'm adoring this color-block interchangeable ensemble.
1980s Sant' Angelo


Giorgio di Sant' Angelo may have been on to something here. I would love to see what his designs were like today if he were still around.

But no fear, the Phoenix Art Museum is having a Giorgio Sant' Angelo retrospective, opening on Sept. 17, 2011 - February 12, 2012.



Exhibition Overview from the website:


"Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo (1933-1989) rose to prominence during the late 1960s with his exuberant and colorful accessories and collections. With an eye for fantasy, Sant’ Angelo created expressive collections that merged his own Latin upbringing with gypsy, Aztec, American Indian and Asian influences among others. Eclectic mixes of vibrant fabrics with rich ornamentation were combined in free-body designs to reflect his ideas of modern sensuality. By reversing the role of stretch fabrics from innerwear to outerwear, he revealed the shape of the natural body as a modern fashion fundamental. “Silhouette as we’ve known it, as something imposed by fashion is finished. The only silhouette for 1971 is the body,” he proclaimed.

Throughout the 1970s, Sant’ Angelo’s designs became more streamlined to reflect the changing times and the active lifestyle of the modern woman. Easy to pack, easy to fit, easy to wear his clothes were both contemporary and practical. Always a step ahead of the fashion industry, Sant’ Angelo’s very feminine collections of the 1980s had a soft–edge, mixing gossamer weight stretch fabrics with lace and chiffon in layered body-aware designs that transformed with the movement and individuality of the wearer. The body suit was the foundation upon which he built layers such as the sarong skirt in a vibrant rainbow of colors.

Born Count Jorge Alberto Imperatrice di Sant’ Angelo e Ratti di Desio in Florence, Italy, he was raised in Argentina and Brazil and trained as an architect and industrial designer in Italy. He studied art, ceramics and sculpture in Spain and France, under Pablo Picasso among others. In 1962, he was awarded an animation fellowship at Walt Disney Studios in California but soon relocated to New York City and began freelancing in a wide range of design areas including industrial, textile, interiors and jewelry. His experimental Lucite jewelry and accessories caught the attention of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who commissioned him to style and create works for fashion editorials. In 1967, Sant’ Angelo collaborated with photographer Richard Avedon to create the now iconic image of Twiggy with a flower drawn on her eye that ran on the cover of the July issue of Vogue. His fashion career came to the fore with the July 1968 issue of Vogue which featured an eight page editorial of model Veruschka, his lifelong muse, photographed by Franco Rubartelli in the Arizona desert. Sant’ Angelo clothed her by wrapping yards of colorful fabrics, fur and ropes in looks that defined the color and texture of the nomadic hippy look in high fashion. Reacting against the boxy shapes of established fashion, Sant’ Angelo’s clothes presented a new fluidity and flattering sensuality in fashion. His private clients included celebrities such as Lena Horne, Mick Jagger and Diana Ross who were attracted to Sant’ Angelo’s exaggerated, glamorous and highly original designs and his youthful passion for life.

Sant’ Angelo was known to say, “I am not a fashion designer but an artist who works in fashion—an engineer of color and form.” His wide reach across design areas reflected his myriad of talents and viewpoint of fashion as a total lifestyle. He was among the first designers to encompass elements in home furnishings and environmental fragrances which are now industry standards."

If you go please send us some pics!!! Phoenix just may have to be a pit stop for me soon!

2 comments:

Louise said...

Very cool. And as to the first quote, if you were at a Miss Universe paegent, you'd be right.

Jen O said...

Great! I had no idea this exhibit was in the making--he's such an amazing designer who really captured his era in color and fabric. (will there be a symposium with this show? It may be worth the trip)