Krizia woman: Mariuccia Mandelli

06/04/2016

Krizia Fall/Winter 2012 / Mariuccia Mandelli, fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
They say, Mariuccia Mandelli grew up in a tailors shop that belonged to Ms Parietti, her parents friend. It was there, in a small and "happy place" neatly tucked away down one of of the streets in Bergamo, where the seven-year-old spent most of her time playing with remnants of fabric, assisting the fittings, dressing up her favourite doll and dreaming about fashion and studying it some day.

Sadly, there was no way to do it in Bergamo and so the girl was persuaded to leave her dreams behind and instead finish studies in Switzerland to become a teacher. Not only she qualified and worked at a primary school at Cassano d'Adda for two years, Mariuccia also became one of the top one hundred scholars chosen among three thousand competitors.

And yet those fashion dreams were calling her name and one day, no longer able to resist her passion, Mandelli quit the day job, sold her Lambretta and used the money to rent two rooms in via Mario Pagano where she and her friend, Flora Dolci, would start their new enterprise.

Mariuccia Mandelli via Krizia: Una Storia by Isa Tutino Vercelloni / Mariuccia Mandelli fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
They began with a collection of skirts and, a little later, a few dresses - two suit cases worth of the garments designed, cut and made by the duo and modelled by Maruiccia. The line was called "Krizia", a humorous and intellectual node to Crizia,  a male character from one of the Plato's dialogues about female vanity, and despite early financial constrains by 1954 became a small business that included a premier and five workers and salesman.

Krizia Black & White Palazzo Pitti collection 1964, Pillar Crespi in Krizia photographed by Norman Parkinson in 1980, Krizia in Vogue Italia 1969, Twiggy in Krizia 1971 campaign / Vogue Italia, Krizia in Vogue Italia 1978, Krizia in Vogue August 1979, Krizia in Freedom of Choice / Vogue Italia October 1971 photographed by Chris von Wangenheim, Krizia in Vogue Italia January 1973 photographed by Gianni Penati / Mariuccia Mandelli Krizia fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
Their hard work and enthusiasm were rewarded. First, with a mention in Grazia, then an invitation to show as a part of an exhibition at SAMIA in 1957, collaboration with Walter Albini for knitwear and a few years later - Karl Lagerfeld - ready-to-wear and Gianfranco Ferre - for jewellery (many years later - Alber Elbaz and Giambattista Valli), move to the new premises in via Angello 12 in Milan, finding Sesto Ulteriano factory to produce Krizia collections and finally an invitation to  show her black-and-white collection at Palazzo Pitti in Florence and winning "Critique of Fashion" prize, making Krizia the second (after Emilio Pucci) and last recipient of the award. In 1969 she received the "The Magnificent Seven". In 1986 - made a Commendatore della Republica Italiana alongside Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Gianfranco Ferre.

In 1971 Mariuccia Mandelli gave the world the hot pants, a skimpy garment made of luxurious satin or velvet. The shorts, that won The Gold Tiberio award, were launched in Capri and shortly copied by many fashion houses and department stores. Women loved them. Husbands begged their wives to wear them. When asked how long the craze would last, Mandelli responded with "until they become something horrible, horribly worn by women not fit for them", adding with a smile, in 1994, "I happened to pass through the centre of Milan today. All the girls were wearing short pants. I really must decide to slim down as I want to wear them, too."

Krizia hot pants in Vogue Italia 1971 photographed by Chris von Wangenheim, Grazia Italy march 2013 & on a runway at Krizia Spring/Summer 2002, Krizia Spring/Summer 2005 & Krizia Spring/Summer 2010 / Mariuccia Mandelli Krizia fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
Every year, whilst remaining true to her aesthetics Mandelli would try something new - those were her inventions without the loss of wearability... Fabrics, shapes, knitwear, prints, embroideries, pleats, animal motives, florals - inspired by anything from flora and fauna, Matisse and Van Gogh, Fortuny and kimonos, Tolstoy and Klinger, hey were known as Krizia Zoo and Krizia Garden, Krizia's Gold and Krizia's Pleats - they were not simply new fashions, but lucky omens and points where fashion, literature, art and sculpture would cross their paths. Later some of those designs would inspire the others, from Dries van Noten, Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin's Alber Elbaz to JW Anderson.

Shalom Harlow in Krizia Spring/Summer 1992 campaign, Tatiana Sorokko at Krizia Fall/Winter 1995, Helena Christensen at Krizia 1992, Krizia 1991 editorial, Helena Christensen wearing Krizia in Vogue US September 1990 / Mariuccia Mandelli Krizia fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
Most importantly, regardless of the idea for each collection, Krizia clothes were always designed with a vision of a woman being true to herself, liberated from rules and stereotypes, aware of everything around her, taking pride in what she wore, experiencing the quality of the fabrics, letting the shapes follow her body and giving her extra confidence. It was a mix of practicality, elegance and luxury, "a game of contrasts with a well-balanced touch of fantasy", all in one.

"I would be ashamed to tell women "You must dress like this or that because it's the year's fashion. Everyone must dress as they like provided that the dress becomes a part of her." Mandelli once said in an interview.

Krizia Fall/Winter 2010 campaign, Krizia Spring/Summer 2010, Krizia Spring/Summer 2009 & Krizia Spring/Summer 2011 / Mariuccia Mandelli Krizia fashion designer biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
By the early 1990s the house of Krizia was producing 32 collections a year including Krizia, Kriziamaglia, Krizia Poi, Poi by Krizia, Classico by Krizia, Krizia Jeans, Per Te by Krizia, Multipli di Krizia, Krizia Uomo, K of Krizia, Evex by Krizia and Kriziababy sold in Italy, England, United States, France, Japan, China, Antigua and Barbuda. A real workaholic and perfectionist Maruccia remained at the heart of her fashion house for 60 years not only a designer, but an innovator passionate about the role of the industry and a mentor to the young and talented designers and artists she introduced to the world.

As her health was beginning to decline, Mariuccia Mandelli and her husband and business partner Aldo Pinto sold Krizia to Shenzhen Marisfrolg in 2014. A year later, on 5 December 2015, just a month before her 90th birthday, Mariuccia Mandelli passed away.

Mariuccia Mandelli, Italian fashion designer & founder of Krizia / biography via www.fashionedbylove.co.uk
Photo source: Krizia Fall/Winter 2012 via StyleBistro, Mariuccia Mandelli via Krizia: Una Storia by Isa Tutino Vercelloni, Bergamo via Chris Conway, Krizia Black & White Palazzo Pitti collection 1964, Pillar Crespi in Krizia photographed by Norman Parkinson in 1980, Krizia in Vogue Italia 1969, Twiggy in Krizia 1971 campaign / Vogue Italia, Krizia in Vogue Italia 1978, Krizia in Vogue August 1979, Krizia in Freedom of Choice / Vogue Italia October 1971 photographed by Chris von Wangenheim, Krizia in Vogue Italia January 1973 photographed by Gianni Penati, Krizia hot pants in Vogue Italia 1971 photographed by Chris von Wangenheim, Grazia Italy march 2013 & on a runway at Krizia Spring/Summer 2002, Krizia Spring/Summer 2005 & Krizia Spring/Summer 2010,  Shalom Harlow in Krizia Spring/Summer 1992 campaign, Tatiana Sorokko at Krizia Fall/Winter 1995, Helena Christensen at Krizia 1992, Krizia 1991 editorial, Helena Christensen wearing Krizia in Vogue US September 1990, Krizia Fall/Winter 2010 campaign, Krizia Spring/Summer 2010, Krizia Spring/Summer 2009 & Krizia Spring/Summer 2011

6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, now I know who North America has to blame for hot pants - because on this continent, they are worn by all manner of women who are not fit for them ;) Mariuccia truly did build an incredible empire, thirty-two collections a year is more than I can even contemplate! To think that she did it all is so wonderful.
    xox,
    Cee

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  2. Wow, what a woman! I loved reading this post. "Everyone must dress as they like..." YES.

    T xx

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  3. I always love reading the biographies of successful people. They start off as ordinary people and then go on to do extraordinary things that set them apart from everybody else.

    Luxessed

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  4. so nice pics; -))


    i invite to me too


    www.live-style20.blogspot.com

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  5. Great history and look back on this wonderful brand! I truly enjoyed of this and the photos- so perfect!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

    ReplyDelete