Friday, January 15, 2016

Italy: Palazzo Pitti, the National Costume Gallery and the 'Aviator' Dress

The 1946 'Aviator' Dress sewn from an Advance Pattern
Shoes (and Jacket in later photos) from my favourite Scottish store, Ness

In Florence we stayed very close to the Palazzo Pitti, a palace owned by the Medici family.  We'd previously been to the amazing Boboli Gardens (previously blogged for my me-made Delphine skirt with photos in the garden) but we hadn't been inside to see the royal apartments or the costume gallery!

Here's the view of the Boboli Gardens from the second floor window:

I'm wearing a me-made dress from a 1946 Advance pattern (see the blog post on the inspiration and construction of this dress here).  The yellow in the dress reminded me so much of all the yellow I had seen in the buildings:

The courtyard of the palace is amazingly beautiful:

But the real gem of the place is the Costume Gallery, which is buried away at the top of the building. It's a very small collection but I read on their website that they regularly try to rotate the dresses on display.

Some of this amazing collection of dresses is from Sicilian aristocrat, Donna Franca Florio, one of the most famous European personalities of the belle époque period.  The gown with the blue robe is absolutely stunning (from Ventura Atelier, 1925-1930):

A close-up of the embroidery detail on the train:

Another lovely dress, owned by the same woman is the 1890s black dress with the amazing detailed bodice and sleeves:

Another highlight was seeing the 1920's masterpieces including three robes attributed to the French designer, Paul Poiret:

I wore my 'Aviator' dress paired with my Ness jacket and matching shoes (yes, my Ness jacket and shoe obsession is still going strong...hahahha...)

I definitely recommend this Costume Gallery, the setting alone is beautiful (and there are so many other things to see at this Palace).  I do wish they had focused more on Italian designers though...there is so much design history here!

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