The Art of Fashion: Roberto Capucci

@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”; }@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”; }@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }.MsoPapDefault { margin-bottom: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSectionYesterday, the Fashion Show Production class took a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the Roberto Capucci exhibit. When we walked into the exhibit two museum workers gave us each an audio set and told us to set it to 700 for the introduction. I set my headphones to channel 700 and started a journey that I didn’t expect. It was the third dress that I came upon that made me much more aware of how special and beautifully constructed the clothes were that I was about to see. A red dress inspired by the ripples that a stone makes on the water. With the elegance of classic lines, the structure of architectural elements, and the organic beauty found in nature, this dress really encapsulated the elements that made up Capucci’s creative foundation.

I continued on, winding my way through a maze of 80 unique works, and I found myself blocking out the rest of the world while I swam through a sea of expertly crafted pleating, staggering prisms of color, perfectly hand beaded embroidery and rich fabrics. Set against black walls, the clothes, or should I say works of art, popped and engulfed the audience.

Capucci had definite creative benchmarks in his career. He explored color and clean silhouettes when he moved to Paris in the early 60’s. He started exploring the juxtaposition of odd materials with flowing fabrics after a trip to India in 1970. He used bamboo on the collar, waste and cuffs of a green silk dress, and hard stones on pink silk taffeta. Capucci even explored straw as a fabric. As ready-to-wear became more in demand, Capucci refused to sacrifice fashion as a form of art, and his pieces transformed into one of a kind architectural forms. In the early 80’s his sculpture dresses were products of a range of inspiration. Capucci was inspired by art, architecture, nature, music, sculpture, fruit, the human body and so much more. He has gone past anything most fashionistas today have ever seen, utilizing plastic cubes, glow in the dark beads, and wired sculptures wrapped around silk dresses. As time went on he became well known for his perfectly detailed pleating and his symbiosis of structure and movement.

Another amazing aspect of the exhibit was Capucci’s drawings. He drew out every detail before he created; every pleat, every bead, every color, and every shape were perfectly planned out.

Capucci refers to his work as “a study in form.”

The exhibit is up until June 5th, so be sure to make the time to see it, because fashion will probably never reach Capucci’s level again in today’s ready-to-wear centric universe.

With the 25% off coupon for the gift shop, we all received after the exhibit, I bought myself a pack of postcards featuring pictures of the works at the exhibit. For your viewing pleasure, I have scanned and posted some of my favorites here:


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