The Roman fashion house of the Sorelle Fontana

The Sorelle Fontana fashion house was founded in Rome in 1943 by three sisters and Italian designers: Zoe Fontana (1911-1979), Micol Fontana (1913-2015) and Giovanna Fontana (1915-2004).  I recently posted about their designs for Rita Hayworth in The Barefoot Contessa (1954).

There’s a fair amount of information available in the public sphere online, including on Youtube.




The actual atelier is featured in  Luciano Emmer’s film Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna. The film was shot in the Sorelle Fontana’s atelier near Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

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Above: Lucia Bosè and Zoe Fontana in Le ragazze di Piazza di Spagna. 



Below: Anita Ekberg, testimonial of first perfume “Glory by Fontana” with Zoe Fontana.

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Below: Raquel Welch, female costar in Eduardo De Filippo’s movie Spara forte più forte, wears Sorelle Fontana designs.

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Mary Quant


Last month I got to see the Mary Quant exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  It was a childhood dream to wear Mary Quant fashion.  Her work was not for sale in the small interior West American town where I grew up.  But, my mother could sew anything and she fashioned some Quant designs for me.  It breaks my heart that we didn’t keep all of those great things my mom sewed. But, they are stored in my memory and I remember how I felt when I wore them.  That suffices in a pretty big way.  Thanks mom!


But Mary Quant’s fashions, along with Twiggy and the Beatles, were a big part of my burgeoning (teenage) identity.  Well, I mean that’s obvious.  The name of my blog is from the Beatles: “Get back!”



The photo above of legs and the next 3 of hair were the kind of thing that fired my imagination.  I couldn’t buy her fashions in South Dakota in the 1960s, but I could wear the tights and haircuts she inspired!  And I did!








The rest of my pictures of the V & A exhibition are in no particular order.  It was a great and very fun show, and I loved seeing and snapping pix of it.






































The next photo was completely my scene.  I wore these styles, these colors, and this vibe.







I didn’t know about Mary Quant’s paper dolls, or sticker books, or I would have been seeking them out.  We didn’t have the internet back then, but I bet I could have figured it out, long-hand, so to speak.  I guarantee you that I would have placed an international order with my babysitting money and waited for months to receive my treasures.  This is how I honed my long game, which I still use with great results.




The jersey dress changed fashion.  I’m a big fan and I still wear it.







The 4 Seasons sculptures on Ponte Santa Trinita, Firenze, will get a cleaning

The iconic statues of the 4 seasons on the Ponte Santa Trinita are going to get cleaned up soon.  Florence has announced ( that the sculptures need some TLC.


Interestingly, these 4 statues (only 2 of the 4 are in my pictures above) were sculpted to celebrate the marriage between Cosimo II de’ Medici and Maria Maddalena of Austria in 1608.

Even more interestingly, they were originally intended to be placed in niches or against a wall in the giardino of Villa Corsini al Prato in Florence.  They were not designed to be seen in the round, but in the round they have always been on the bridge.

The following artists were commissioned to create: Primavera by Pietro Francavilla; L’estate e L’autunno by Giovanni Caccini; and L’inverno by Taddeo Landini.

On the night between 3 and 4 of August 1944, the bridge was destroyed by retreating German troops on the advance of the British 8th Army. A Bailey bridge was built for temporary use by the Royal engineers.




The Renaissance replica bridge was constructed in 1958 with original stones raised from the Arno or taken from the same quarry, under the direction of architect Riccardo Gizdulich and engineer Emilio Brizzi.

Miraculously, the statues were more or less intact and returned to the replacement bridge upon its completion.  Only the head of Primavera was missing. The missing head  was recovered from the bed of the Arno in October 1961 and added to the sculpture we see today.



The cleaning, which will involve the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, will include ridding the statues of the layers of soot that has settled on them over the years and treating the works with a waterproof layer to protect them from further damage by atmospheric agents.