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Fashion In Process


The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion. An Exhibition at La Triennale di Milano, curated by Paola Bertola and Vittorio Linfante


The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion celebrates contemporary Italian brands and designers who have, in less than two decades, recovered and renewed the cultural and technical DNA of “made in Italy”, transcribing it into an original language.

It is recognised as a point of excellence at the international level and yet it is typically represented by brands and designers who first made their mark in the 1990s, thus often neglecting its capacity for regeneration. Even so, true to its historic flair for self-organisation, a generation of new brands and new designers is slowly tracing out a reconfigured map of Italian fashion. This is thanks to the promotion of resources still present in Italy, but that have disappeared elsewhere – these include a form of pervasive design attitude, a legacy of material culture, small workshop networks, and peripheral industries. The exhibition The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion intends to illustrate this by no means secondary phenomenon, analysing the language and nature of Italian fashion in the new millennium. It will thus examine the brands and designers that are creating a new map of the sector and a new fashion system.


The aim of the exhibition is to illustrate the composite nature of Italian creativity and its ability to regenerate and work at all levels. This is why it looks at independent designers and brands founded since 1998. It also pays particular attention to the many foreign designers who have chosen Italy as the place for their work and for the creation of their own collections and labels. The result is an extensive map that leads to an analysis of the languages of Italian fashion, thus compiling an authentic contemporary “vocabulary”.


The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion is organized into three sections:

• the Vocabulary section consists of eight + one keywords that identify some of the "fundamentals" that characterized Italian fashion since its origins. They focus on the creative process and the ways contemporary designers face the same design concept of the past, redefining their meaning: Archetype, Construction, Detail, Laboratory, Matter, Ornament, Surface, Uniform and Generation;

• the Narratives consist of four sections devoted to photography, illustration, traditional and digital publishinga and fashion films;

• the Biographies is the closing section of the exhibition, dedicated to the stories of designers and brands which since 1998 have enriched the scene of Italian contemporary fashion.



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FiP Research Collective at Politecnico di Milano was involved in the process of mapping and studying the subject of the research conducted in parallel to the exhibition The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion.


The New Vocabulary of Italian Fashion curated by Paola Bertola and Vittorio Linfante

at La Triennale di Milano, Milan (November 24th – March 6th, 2016)


Exhibition Design: Martino Berghinz Studio
Graphic Design: Zetalab



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