Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Paisley Pattern: Marks in Movement

18 June–18 September 2016
FAR – Villa Sucota, Villa Bernasconi

A drop with a curved tip declined in countless variations, a seductive design of ancient origins that recalls exotic imaginaries, distant worlds, and more: all this is boteh / cashmere (or paisley), one of the decorative motifs that have crossed the history of fabric and fashion while maintaining its charm.

The exhibition Paisley Pattern, Marks in Movement was dedicated to the boteh, organized by the Antonio Ratti Foundation in collaboration with the Municipality of Cernobbio and curated by Margherita Rosina and Francina Chiara, which was held from 18 June to 18 September 2016 in the two locations of Villa Sucota in Como and Villa Bernasconi in Cernobbio.

The cashmere design, a contemporary classic present in the historical archives of many Como textile manufacturers, is a testing ground for the skills of all the operators in the textile supply chain - from the designer to the workers - which allowed the local industry to establish itself in the world. Through the approximately 150 pieces on display - including fabrics, shawls, dresses, accessories, and ties - the exhibition guided the visitors on a journey to discover the evolution and interpretation of the motif in different eras and countries.

The chronological and thematic path of the exhibition enhanced the ancient fabrics of the FAR collections and the modern ones from companies in the Larian area which, thanks to their historical archives, interpreted an ancient and suggestive design in multiple variations, constantly renewing it. On display were Indian and European shawls from the collection of Antonio Ratti, a silk industrialist from Como who made his passion for the cashmere motif an identifying mark of his production: pieces never before exhibited restored for the occasion. The selection of clothes ranged from the mid-nineteenth century to the contemporary. Among the historical pieces, of particular interest an embroidered evening cloak by Drecoll from 1907, a mid-eastern velvet caraco from the end of the 19th century, and a kimono robe kept in the wardrobe of Gabriele D'Annunzio at the Vittoriale; among the contemporary pieces a Valentino Boutique dress worn by Patty Pravo for a Vogue shoot, a white lace chemisier by Daniel Hetcher, and, among others, items by Mila Schön, Lancetti, and Gianfranco Ferré Haute Couture.

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