The Genteel
November 28, 2020


Villa Mazzucchelli (Source:
The Fashion and Costume Museum

Musei Mazzucchelli is located in the beautiful Villa Mazzucchelli in Ciliverghe di Mazzano, Brescia. The palatial villa (declared a national monument) is named after its past owners, Federico Mazzucchelli and his son Giammaria, who purchased the villa in 1722 and expanded the property over time. The Giacomini Meo Fiorot Foundation, a non-profit organisation, was established to promote and preserve the heritage and assets of Musei Mazzucchelli, which consists of the Fashion and Costume Museum, the Museum of Wine and Corkscrews and the Gianmmaria Mazzucchelli House Museum. The villa, including its grand Roman-style park, is open to the public and the foundation frequently organises cultural events, lectures, shows, festivals and exhibitions on its grounds.

A piece from Versace il genio
della moda e l’arte


The Fashion and Costume Museum, located in the villa's ancient stables, is home to approximately 5,000 pieces dating from the mid-1700's up to the birth of Italian haute couture in the 20th century. Through jewellery, clothing, household linens and infantwear, the museum documents the evolution of fashion in Italy. Exhibitions dedicated to fashion and costume are periodically held in the Sala delle Colonne (Column Hall) which attract fashion students, design lovers, costume enthusiast and intrigued visitors. One of the most extraordinary exhibitions hosted by the museum was Versace il genio della moda e l'arte (Versace: the genius of fashion and art) in 2006. The exhibition underlined Gianni Versace's affinity for the art world and the strong role that art had on the designer's stylistics choices. His most creative creations were displayed alongside the paintings, prints and sculptures that inspired them.

More recently, Musei Mazzucchelli hosted Il Teatro alla Moda (Fashion in Theatre) which showcased stage costumes created by Italian designers such as Giorgio Armani, Romeo Gigli, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino Garavani and Versace. The museum's curator, Massimiliano Capella, selected their creations from prestigious acting companies, fashion houses and private collections of actors and singers and the show retraces the most glamorous international theatre events and underlines the artistic qualities of Made in Italy fashion.

Haute couture gained access to theatres stages in the late-1800's thanks to early couturier Charles Frederick Worth. Since then, many couturiers have collaborated with theatre and ballet companies, including Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Christian Lacroix, and even Coco Chanel who designed the costumes for the play, Antigone, in 1922 and for Jean Cocteau's, Le Train Bleu, in 1924. On display is the exquisite pink fur mantle created by Fendi in 1984 for Raina Kabaivanska's performance in La Traviata; Missoni's multi-coloured costumes for Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala in 1983; and the extraordinary Bata de Cola (flamenco costume) designed by Armani for flamenco dancer, Joaquín Cortés, for the Joaquin Cortes Show (2002). 

 Bata de Cola designed by Giorgio Armani
for flamenco dancer, Joaquín Cortés

Beauty is celebrated in all forms at Musei Mazzucchelli. The museum hosts the annual Il Festival delle rose (Roses Festival) when hundreds of rose species and rose products fill up the museum's halls and park with magnificent colours and scents. Another fashion and costume related event is the bi-annual Made in Vintage show where vintage accessories and clothes are displayed and available for purchase. Appealling to visitors are brands such as Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga, however at Made in Vintage, the brand matters little as it is the vintage concept and the research over shape, quality and style that matters most: "We always seek out those collectors which best interpret the real vintage essence, understood as a way of life and being," explains Mr. Capella.

The jubilant crowds that converge at Musei Mazzucchelli are astonished by the villa and its beautiful surroundings: the beautful park is perfect for a relaxing walk, masterpieces hang from the walls; history breathes from the walls - all of which makes for a complete experience in a museum that feels like a "doll house" for its proportions when compared to the grand and extensive show spaces that are now very popular. By now a true fashion point of reference, the Fashion and Costume Museum hosted at Villa Mazzucchelli never fails to inspire, awe and engross whomever enters its grounds.

Musei Mazzucchelli:





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