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Written by Shefali Ganesh on June 15, 2016 Share on

Fashion forward – Italy

Fashion can change your life, didn’t a new pair of shoes change Cinderella’s drab life?! It wasn’t long after Cinderella found this out that  fashion in Italy was born and soon Italy became the world’s fashion capital!

Italy boasts of being the first to host a fashion show as early as the 1950s and is today home to the biggest brands in apparel, jewellery and cars. Italy offers to its visitors a sensory pleasure trip – food fit for the Gods, landscapes that have no parallel in beauty, inspiring history and top it all, it is the fashion conscious tourist’s favourite destination. For those in love with style of fashion in Italy, here is a road map of how the country came to be called the world’s fashion capital.

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Cradle of Style

Italy was where Europe’s transition into modernity began. As early as the 14th century Italy became the centre of the Renaissance movement, when art, music, philosophy and architecture became the new way to think. Along with this new thought came the sense of dressing  – Florence, Naples and Rome to start with, created clothing style that was grandeur personified. The beginning of fashion in Italy can’t really be called humble in any sense, Italy’s clothing was always extravagant and expensive. Brocades, silk, velvet, pearls and jewels found their way into clothing style. So also did accessories such as jewellery, shoes and other ornaments come into the fashion picture.

Renaissance clothing from fashion in Italy
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Trendsetter Milan

Florence was where fashion in Italy took its baby steps. In the mid-19th century however, Italy began its industrialisation phase, with more land being occupied by textile houses. Milan slowly became home to fashion houses, the earliest brands being Bulgari, Prada, Gucci and Ferragamo, who were exporting to the world. But the world came to know of Italy’s fashion finesse in 1951, when businessman Giovanni Battista Giorgini organised the country’s first real fashion show. This was Italy’s announcement to the world that it had moved from being exporter of luxury fashion goods to become the happening fashion destination.

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Haute Couture Haven

Milan, Rome and Florence together make up the districts of fashion in Italy. The label ‘Made-in-Italy’ today indicates elegant and exquisite products that speak of  innovation and excellence in design. The most well known fashion labels come from Italy – Giorgio Armani for designer garments, watches and leather goods, Prada and Gucci for designer handbags, Bulgari jewellery – to name a few. Italian fashion was sported by celebrities across the world. Marilyn Monroe is remembered in the iconic red shoes by Italian brand Salvatore Ferragamo, while Jacqueline Kennedy wore Italian designer Valentino’s dress for her dream wedding to Onassis. More recently singer Lady Gaga has been known to sport trendsetting pieces from Versace and Armani.

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When in Italy

Shop here: Some of Italy’s shopping districts are Via Montenapoleone and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan; Via dei Condotti in Rome; and Via de Tornabuoni in Florence. If you are looking for the best deals, get smart and locate the factory outlets of the big brands.

What to buy: Brands apart, Italy is known for leather products, perfumes Murano glass and the famed Tuscan ceramics among other things.

Brand walk: In fact, there are walking tours that are dedicated to the fashion districts of Italy, where you could gather a bit of history of the brands, while you also shop!

Shoes are for walking: While you may enjoy shopping for those high heels in Italy, remember to wear some sensible shoes while on that shopping spree. Many areas in Italy still have cobbled streets!

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Italy Tour Package Starting @ ₹66,980

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