The atelier, in history was a place where fashion came to life and where hard work was of the order of the day. Born of humble traditions, tailoring was like any other craft, hard graft and passion characterized the quality of what emerged. The clothes, and perhaps the women who wore them brought fame to the designer and their style, but never to his persona. Emilio Federico Schuberth, through his talent and character, gained celebrity status, to match his clients’.
Emilio Federico Schuberth the first celebrity designer
Emilio Federico Schuberth, autographed head shot.
Emilio Federico Schuberth was born in Naples in 1904 to an eccentric couple for those times: his gather a noble Saxon, his mother a famous Spanish flamenco dancer. With his interesting background aesthetics and the art were favored and he moved to Rome in the early 1930s as a painter of not much success, but with an eye for beautiful women and their fashion.
An Emilio Federico Schuberth design.
He began sketching hats and dresses and thanks to his easy with moving around in society, his natural flair and aptitude to PR he became known as a connoisseur of style and elegance. The Dutchess Ratti, niece of Achille Ratti, Pope Pius IX, insisted and encouraged him to open his own atelier. With the Dutchess’ patronage, Schuberth opened his first atelier in 1938 with his wife.
An Emilio Federico Schuberth design.
His Neapolitan flair was instantly recognized and a hit. He loved the image of a classic, opulent woman, with eclectic tastes and a love of fine fabrics, and women loved to look exactly like he imagined them. His exuberant fashion is most embodied in the large full-length tulle skirts embellished with cascading crystals.
Emilio Federico Schuberth with model.
Schuberth’s creativity and opulent fashion made him a favourite amogst celebrities and proncesses. He became known as the tailor of the Dolce Vita. Gina Lollobrigida, Sofia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Linda Christian, Joan Crawford, Dutchess of Windsor, Soraya, Evita Perón wer all loyal clients. Gina Lollobrigida with designer Emilio Federico Schuberth, in his design.
Schubert’s class and elegant touch are visible even in the torn rags worn by Gina Lollobrigida in her movies Pane, amore e fantasia, La Provinciale, and La Romana, all designed by him.
Anita Ekberg with designer Emilio Federico Schuberth, in his design.
Schuberth was not only recognized due to his flair, creativity and talent, but he also became something of a socialite and celebrity of his time. The tailor’s steps, accompanied by the din of jewels and trinkets, could be heard in the most exlisive venues in Roman Society. His persona and entourage, he was always accompanies by throngs of impeccably dressed and made up models, made him a favorite amongst contemporary media. To further his public image and fame, Schuberth also released his own perfumed, aptly and narcissistically named Schu-Schu.
Sophia Loren with designer Emilio Federico Schuberth, in his design.
His fame brought him to the screen, where he potrayed himself in a movie and on TV as a guest on well known Italian shows. Schuberth died in Rome in 1972, leaving behind a dichotomous heritage: the last icon of Neapolitan “baroque” fashion and the precursor of today’s celebrity-designers.
Written by: Valentina Zannoni
Tagged with: #EXHIBITION
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