Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani has been at the helm of the title since 1988 - as well as its men’s counterpart L’Uomo Vogue since 2007 - in the process crafting a tome that is widely considered to be the best in the business. The magazine’s provocative editorial content reaches far beyond fashion, presenting a snapshot of cutting edge style, art and culture month after month.
If Sozzani throws her weight behind a designer or cause, the industry sits up and takes notice. So when Vogue Italia created a one-off photographic book celebrating the significance of Australian Merino in fashion, the industry’s heavy hitters come out in force.
'The Art of Merino. An Extraordinary Matter' pays homage to fleece through the work of ten of the world’s biggest and most influential names in style. From Italy, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo and Missoni; Lanvin and Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci out of France; and the cream of the American crop Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Thom Browne, Diane von Furstenberg and Alexander Wang.
Spread across 56 artfully-directed pages, the book opens with a look at the history and royal lineage of Merino wool, anchored with the words of cultural icons such as poet Les Murray, artist Jim Hodges and author Mark Twain. It then moves into an exclusive fashion shoot, photographed by Pierpaolo Ferrari, showcasing the sartorial vision of the ten featured designers—each look rendered in wool, naturally.
The individual designers also weigh in on the merits of Merino wool.
“Outerwear and fabric manipulation gave me the opportunity to expand on the richness of wool, such as laminating tweed and the concept of shrink wrapping knits to give a surreal, high-gloss effect,” says Alexander Wang in the book, created in collaboration with The Woolmark Company.
Menswear designer Browne credits wool as being the starting point for his suiting-focused collections, while Donna Karan praises the “many personalities of wool, sheer, jersey, pinstripe, twill, blanketed in tartan.”
Tisci says simply, “Wool: raw, sophisticated and warm.”
Coinciding with the launch of the book, Sozzani curated an exclusive photographic exhibition at the famous 10 Corso Como boutique in Milan, a presentation of images from the archives of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue, shot by the world’s leading fashion photographers. The exhibition’s launch event brought out Italy’s fashion set including Donatella Versace, Paolo Zegna and Teresa Missoni.
Merino wool has clearly marked itself out as part of the fashion elite. Or, as Salvatore Ferragamo’s Massimiliano Giornetti puts things: “It is revealed constantly as a perfect fibre for every occasion and use, the exceptional interpreter of the contemporary spirit”.
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