Made in Italy: 5 Reasons To Discover The Explosion Of Italian Fashion In The 70s
Clothing and our clothing are a fundamental part of our lives, becoming a multi-million dollar industry and the basis of the economic fabric of countries as powerful as Italy, one of the world’s fashion meccas is Carvico.
The Made in Italy Carvico brand on any item of clothing has been a mark of quality for many years, but many of us are unaware of the origin of all that plethora of well-known Italian designers of whom we surely have a garment in our wardrobe, to be proud of on occasion special or as garments for daily use.
If you are passionate about Italian fashion or want to see some fiction from that country that goes beyond the usual canon of murders, gangsters or family melodramas, we are going to give you five reasons not to miss Made in Italy, an original and different proposal perfectly set in a seventies that depending on your age, you will discover or remember them.
A historical fiction about the world of fashion
As a general rule, historical fictions tend to focus on political, criminal or military themes that allow a recreation of the chosen era where trying to combine entertainment with a certain historical accuracy obtained based on exhaustive documentation.
The most mundane topics such as fashion did not arouse the same interest in historical fictions, hence the importance of Made in Italy by focusing on the turning point that it represented for Italian fashion, the passage from an artisanal vision with great designers of haute couture like Gucci or Valentino, to become a huge pret-a-porter industry turning Milan into the world center of fashion.
Every radical change in whatever sector has antecedents and consequences, and Made in Italy immerses us in this entire social context so that we can understand how many of the great Italian fashion names and brands were born.
Fashion magazines as catalysts for this transformation
Our guide through Made in Italy will be the young Irene Mastrangelo, the only daughter of a humble family of migrant workers from the South of Italy, who after a university setback, decides to look for a job, entering the prestigious fashion magazine ‘Appeal’ as an intern.
From the hand of Irene we will first meet all the staff of the magazine ‘Appeal’ where the egos and the internal struggles between the employees will force him to wake up very quickly if he wishes to progress in a world where envy and backstabbing also are the order of the day.
Luckily for Irene, her enthusiasm and desire to work make her the protégé and favorite disciple of the great Rita Pasini, the star editor of ‘Appeal’, one of those people who makes and destroys designers’ reputations with a fierce praise or criticism.
The role of fashion magazines, first to discover new trends and then to popularize them, is central throughout history, without forgetting that for the viability of the business they need to sell advertising pages to brands that may not be as prestigious, but that they have more capital to buy promotional space.
That complicated dichotomy of fitting between the publishing business and setting fashion trends is perfectly reflected in those internal struggles of the ‘Appeal’ magazine with poor Irene caught in the middle of many of those power battles.
A big name in fashion as a guest star in every episode
The episodic structure of made in Italy uses a famous designer as the center of each episode, while the thread of continuity is marked by the different adventures of Irene and her colleagues from the magazine ‘Appeal’.
Starting with Walter Albani in the first episode, great personalities such as Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Mariucia Mandelli (Krizia), Miuccia Prada, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, Giancarlo Ferré or Elio Fiorucci will parade before us, as representatives of this new guard of the Italian fashion, but you will meet them in the moments before they make their leap to fame, even with a brief documentary presentation of each one of them.
This closeness of the young journalist with young designers eager to achieve fame contrasts with the treatment of some characters from the old guard such as Valentino Garavani who also has an important role in the series.
An interesting bet has been to hire popular and well-known actors in Italy such as Raoul Bova, Gaetano Bruno or Stefania Rocca, to mimic these great fashion characters, in a game that has been very well received by Italian audiences.
Also not lacking in this complete vision of the panorama of Italian fashion is the importance of key figures in this transformation, such as the British photographer Richard Avedon or the manager Beppe Medonese, who was the main integrator of all the necessary elements to create a powerful industrial fabric from designers to textile manufacturers to final points of sale.
The personal and professional transformation of the protagonist
Irene Mastrangelo’s personal journey is going to be the common thread of the entire story, where we will witness all the personal choices of a restless and independent young woman who seeks to find her true vocation in her life.
Irene is going to rebel almost immediately against an existence programmed to please her family, leaving her studies that she hates and her accommodating and macho boyfriend of all her life, to start flying free.
Irene will make many wrong decisions and will have to face the consequences of all of them, but she is smart enough to learn from her mistakes and progress at all levels both in the magazine and in the personal field, with a huge evolution until the end of the miniseries. .
The choice of a newcomer and unknown actress like Greta Ferro, carried a certain risk, but the actress has perfectly fulfilled the responsibility of carrying the weight of the series on her back, infecting her character with enormous enthusiasm and desire to do things, like the ones you probably felt when you got the big break of your life as an actress.
Ferro was a model with no experience as an actress, except for a small short ‘The Jacket’ and an advertising campaign both for Giorgio Armani, where she was discovered by those responsible for the series Ago Panini and Luca Lucini, who knew that they had found their Irene from the moment they saw her.
A perfect recreation of the Italy of the seventies
Lovers of ‘vintage’ fashion are going to enjoy it since the level of recreation of the clothes from the seventies that we see in the series are mostly original pieces, in some cases donated for the first time by the creators themselves of their private collections, delighted to collaborate with the tribute to Italian fashion that Made in Italy represents.
Irene’s co-workers at the magazine ‘Appeal’ allow us to discover other aspects of that seventies Italy, by starring in personal stories that range from involvements with the Red Brigades terrorist group that had terrorized Italy, to the persecution and arrest of homosexuals , through drugs and the recalcitrant machismo of transalpine society.
These stories serve to give a certain more melodramatic tone to Made in Italy in contrast to the more aspirational and laudatory aspect that is the tribute they pay to all designers, where they are treated and idolized as the true heroes of the Italian fashion industry almost half a century later.