Relatively unknown, especially to young designers these days, Roberto Capucci is the greatest living Italian creator of high fashion who still refuses to compromise aesthetics for commercial gain. For this master, anonymity comes as no surprise, for an aspiring designer however, research on his work will surely be inspirational and beneficial for one’s fashion IQ.
“I never allowed myself to be influenced by the logic of ‘When shall I wear it? On what ocassion? The history of costume wouldn’t exist if others, over the centuries had thought this way,” he declared earlier in his career.
Roberto Capucci always finds stimulus far away from mainstream, commercial fashion, which he considers to be contagiously vulgar and ruled by bad taste and ugliness. Instead, he finds inspiration in the sublime; in observing the flight of birds during an African safari, in admiring the voluptuousness of damask in a portrait by Bronzino or the indefinable light blue of a corset in a painting by Cosimo Tura and also in simply peeling an orange, copying the elegant spiral of its peel on a sleeve or skirt.
To prepare a collection, he makes as much as 1,200 black and white sketches then he edits and colors the chosen designs. Every dress can as requires much as four months of work and almost 200 yards of the most precious fabric. He is the last couturier who still uses Ermesin taffeta, a fabric that is hand-made on looms from the 1500’s.
Roberto Capucci follows a visionary dream of beauty, in sculpture dresses with swirls, crests, and ribs that combine the sumptuousness, the rigor and the solemnity of Renaissance costumes, fantastic architectures, spectacular allegories and clothes of non-existent practicality.