Film and Fashion – The Sack of Rome…

I finally watched Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita the other day. Everybody knows parts of the film – its ingrained in our culture, but I felt it was time to know all of it. It’s a bit long but I find I am still thinking about it, and that’s a good sign. There are plenty of  reviews about what the film means so I won’t go into that, but what I did find particularly interesting is that the inspiration for this film was the sack dress!

In various interviews, Fellini claims La dolce Vita was inspired by the sack dress style. Balenciaga is usually credited with its invention, however, many designers had versions of the style in 1957 including Givenchy and Norman Norell. The sack style looked glamorous but hid the female form.

Commenting on the style, Fellini said: “I saw women walking along dressed in a fantastic and extraordinary way, so fascinating that it set light to my imagination.” Brunello Rondi, Fellini’s co-screenwriter and collaborator, confirmed the story explaining that “the fashion of women’s sack dresses… struck Fellini because they rendered a woman very gorgeous who could, instead, be a skeleton of squalor and solitude inside.”

2 thoughts on “Film and Fashion – The Sack of Rome…

  1. Hello Jonathan,
    This might be off topic, however, Fashion design history is brought to life by Palazzo Morando, on Via Sant’Andrea 6, Milan, Italy. This lovely Renaissance building was restored a few years ago, and this work uncovered an interesting frieze at the top of the façade. The municipal authorities intelligently decided to use this space for a Fashion Museum, something that is absolutely necessary in one of the world’s fashion capitals. Palazzo Morando is right at the heart of Milan’s top fashion district, close to Via Montenapoleone. The municipal advisor for Culture, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, said that rather than being just a museum, the space is “a venue involved in research into visual design and the promotion of a young and fresh image of Fashion” (Municipality of Milan press release).

  2. Thanks for the news – I hadn’t heard about this museum until now. You are right, Milan does need a fashion museum (but I am partial!)

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