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.

https://youtu.be/GPqq6UZy4B8

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sorelle+fontana

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/sorelle-fontana-dressing-the-stars-fondazione-micol-fontana/7AKCMfe6fhxiIQ?hl=en

 

 

 

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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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinecittà

Rita Hayworth in The Barefoot Contessa; gowns by Sorelle Fontana

In 1954, the film The Barefoot Contessa was released, starring Rita Hayworth and Humphrey Bogart.  I just watched the film on Amazon.it and loved it just for the settings and costumes.  The fashion house of the Sorelle Fontana provided the gorgeous costumes worn by Hayworth and some of the other characters.

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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’ll be posting strictly about the fashion house soon.

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The Barefoot Contessa is considered one of director/producer Mankiewicz’s most glamorous “Hollywood” films, but it was produced out of Cinecittà Studios in Rome, Italy. The exterior scenes were shot at Tivoli (the olive grove), Sanremo, and Portofino. The film’s Italian production was part of the “Hollywood on the Tiber” phenomenon.

 

The Saturday Review called Ava Gardner “one of the most breathtaking creatures on earth.”  It is hard to disagree.

 

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I took a bunch of screen shots of the film to illustrate this post. The pictures aren’t great, but the costumes are.

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Mary Quant

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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!

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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!”

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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!

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

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

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