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Paola Bertola, Vittorio Linfante

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Edited by Paola Bertola and Vittorio Linfante

Exhibition catalogue: La Triennale di Milano

24 November 2015 – 6 March 2016

Essays by Gian Luca Bauzano, Paola Bertola, Patrizia Calefato, Chiara Colombi, Eleonora Fiorani, Valeria Iannilli, Vittorio Linfante, Antonio Mancinelli, Alessandro Manzi, Federica Muzzarelli, Renata Molho, Emanuela Mora, Enrica Morini, Marco Pedroni, Federico Poletti, Domenico Quaranta, Fiamma Sanò, Simona Segre Reinach, Salvo Testa, Federica Vacca, Massimo Zanella

Paperback
23 × 31 cm, 320 pages.
300 colour illustrations

isbn 978-88-7461-285-7 Italian/English

It is always difficult to reestablish a critical vision of contemporary phenomena. It is even more difficult in the case of fashion, which serves as an elaborate synthesis of culture, economics and everyday life. In response, The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion tries to document a very recent piece of history, not with historiographical ambition, but with the intent to capture, in the present day, the signs of an approaching future.

The opportunity stems from the recovered relationship with the field in a country that painstakingly transitioned through a period of crises, confirming that the few countries of Old Europe were able to sustain a textile manufacturing system. From the materials to the finished product, the products and accessories find their narrative dimension and the processes for refinement and reproduction, in constant transformation, offering unprecedented potential to unite technique and language.

The newcomers that make their entry into fashion between the end of the old millennium and the 2010s live in a contradictory time. They test the extremes and the complexities of a fashion system that grew inconsistently, compelled to respond quickly to market demands. This structure is often characterised by a chaotic process of proliferating secondary lines and licenses that generate inefficiency in organizing the phases of collection creation and development. And let us not forget that internationalization is a key element for the “made in Italy” brand, both from a market and production standpoint, and contemporary brands have a more mature attitude towards it. Today, the international market represents a frontier and opportunity found only in building relationships and never in abandoning territory. Much more attention is being paid to the quality of processes, and to the social responsibilities associated with establishing operations in another country.

Vocabulary is an exhibition, but it is also a field of research, departing from the desire to verify the vitality of a system, and concluding with the determination to recount, at least in part, the many initiatives, projects and ventures created in little more than 17 years, and the glimpses of change that transformed our world.