There is a very fine line between art and couture fashion and the work of Roberto Capucci is the epitome of this; in fact there is no better way to sum up his fifty years of activity if not by defining him not just as a fashion designer but as an artist who expresses himself through fashion, as he is famous for his uniquely colourful and sculptural designs. The “Roberto Capucci – in search of regality” retrospective exhibition, held at the Reggia di Venaria, is an astounding and impressive display of 50 dresses created by him since the Fifties.
“Fashion is not just an ornament, it is architecture. It is not enough for a dress to be beautiful, it has to be built as a palace, because just like a building it is the materialisation of an idea”
Capucci often refers to his work as a study in form inspired by art, architecture, and nature. For him, designing is a complete sensory experience, and one he often described as a leap from art, beauty, colour, emotion, music, nature, poetry. He is unparalleled in his ability to represent emotion through creations that are genuine “sculpture dresses”, presented in the exhibition along with sketches, photos, videos and anecdotes on particular moments in time and on the celebrities who actually wore such masterpieces.
His completely unexpected colour combinations spring vividly off of the rich fabrics, and some of his dresses feature thousands of tiny pleats folded into electrifying shapes. The sculpture dresses look spectacular when still on the mannequin, but the viewer is able to imagine their energy flowing down the runway in the videos that complement the displays of the gowns. Any fashion or design student will be fascinated by the wall of Capucci’s original drawings, which allow the viewer to follow the design from whimsical conception to dazzling fruition.
Photos by Claudia Primangeli.