Swide mourns the death of one of Italy’s most iconic, influential and darn right bonkers fashion personages, Anna Piaggi.
Exuberant, eclectic, visionary, idiosyncratic, controversial, all these words can be used to describe late fashion writer and stylist Anna Piaggi, who died in Milan on Tuesday at the age of 81. There is another word in my opinion that describes Anna Piaggi, and that is lover, fashion lover at that. Her patronage of avant garde styles, her passion for her work, her fearless interpretation of fashion, embodied in her infamous 1970s Valentino haute couture shoot which featured guns, her collection of 2865 dresses, her hats and shoes and the fact that she loved to wear every single one of them, to me shouts fashion lover more than anything else.
Fashion lover not in a forlorn sense, or superficial shopping addict, Anna Piaggi venerated fashion as an art form, and often she herself looked more like a fantastic sculpture than a fashionista.
Piaggi started her career as a translator of publishing house Mondadori and then moved onto fashion, she penned articles and styled spreads for eminent Italian publications of the 70s and 80s and then became a contributor to Vogue Italia until her death.
Piaggi’s influence on fashion went further than her pen, this blue haired Fairy was muse to Karl Lagerfeld in the Seventies, the drawings which ensued became a volume of whimsical fashion illustrations. Piaggi could not but influence shoe designer Manolo Blahnik and milliner Stephen Jones’ creations, both of which feature prominently in her vast collection.
Her fashion sense, both contemporary and vintage, she has been credited with bringing vintage to the fore in Italian fashion, and it became the subject of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2006: Anna Piaggi Fashion-ology.
Anna Piaggi, a diminutive figure, that blue haired Fairy with theatrical make up and outrageous hats will be sorely missed on the front rows of the world’s most influential catwalks.
One of the greatest fashion lovers the 20th century has had the fortune to experience, Anna Piaggi, Swide salutes you.
Written by: Valentina Zannoni