The incredible work of Milena Canonero, who was just awarded the 2015 Oscar Award for the Grand Hotel Budapest costumes, is on show in the Museum of Rome in Piazza Navona until March 22.
The exhibition, with projections of the most famous Italian films, encompasses the work by most of the Italians who won an Oscar, 6 out of 7, and of the others who contributed to the testament of the Italian school of costume design for films over the last century, like Gino Carlo Sensani, the first Italian to become a professional costume designer. A journey from the beginning to the present, from the silent movies era to last year’s The Great Beauty.
Milena Canonero, the world’s living most successful costume designer for films (according to the total tally of Academy Awards won), and her 4 Oscars don’t come out of the blue, of course. Even if she can be considered one of the most detached from the Italian context, she owes a lot to Piero Tosi who won a lifetime achievement Oscar for costume design two years ago, after five nominations (the first of which came in the 1963 historical drama “The Leopard”).
A whole hall of the exhibition is devoted to her sophisticated dresses for the movie Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola (the other two Oscar awards for Canonero were Barry Lindon by Stanley Kubrick and Chariots of Fire by Hugh Hudson).
Works by the costume designer most closely associated with Federico Fellini, Piero Gherardi, are also be on show. Oscars won for La Dolce Vita and 8½.
The other Italians who were awarded twice at the Oscar ceremony are Danilo Donati (the romance film Romeo and Juliet) and Vittorio Nino Novarese (the grandiose epic Cleopatra). Their outfits are on display until March 22.
Last but not least you can also admire Gabriella Pescucci’s dresses for The Age of Innocence directed by Martin Scorsese, like the bustier worn by countess Oleska, Michelle Pfeiffer.
The exhibition, featuring more than 100 dresses, dozens of sketches and a selection of items, sheds light on the two different branches of this centenary craft school, the realist one with Piero Tosi and the fantastic one with most of the others: Gherardi’s graphic style, the baroque Donati, the inventive Pescucci and the pop Canonero.
The exhibition was set up by one of the country’s top living cinematographers Luca Bigazzi who created a magic lighting and arrangement system that further increases the value of the clothes on display.