Last July 19 at Palazzo Cupane, home of the Museum of Sicilian Costume and Fashion in Mirto, the exhibition “Fashion at the Time of the Florios“, an exhibition of antique garments from 1900 to 1930 by architect Giuseppe Miraudo, was inaugurated. Cutting the inaugural ribbon was Maria Grazia Cucinotta, godmother of the Sicilian Museum and for which – in recent years – she has been a testimonial in Italy and around the world. In some of her works, in fact, the actress from Messina wore the Museum’s historical dresses including the well-known “Delphos” gown by Mariano Fortuny made famous worldwide by Eleonora Duse, Isadora Duncan and Sarah Bernhardt.
At the turn of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Palermo was a European capital experiencing a major cultural revival thanks to the major families, including the Florios with Ignazio junior, the patron who completed spectacular works such as the Teatro Massimo, Villa Igea and Villa Florio itself, and who married Donna Franca Florio “The Queen of Palermo” , a cultured and refined creature, envied and courted by powerful and famous men whose almost legendary beauty was immortalized by poets, painters and sculptors such as Boldini, Ettore de Maria Bergler and Gabriele d’Annunzio. “Fashion at the Time of the Florios” offers a glimpse of the exceptional turmoil of haute couture in the early 1900s, the years of the “Belle Epoque,” a period of great beauty and carefreeness in which the typical lines of Art Nouveau were gaining ground.
The careful research work done by Giuseppe Miraudo enhances this moment of great creativity in Sicilian high fashion. On display are early 20th-century wedding dresses, hats, handbags, costume jewelry, shoes, linens, a vanished world that witnessed a period that revolutionized the history of fashion. The initiative is enriched by a photographic exhibition by maestro Melo Minnella with images depicting the prestige of the Florio family and posters from the period concerning the Florios’ activities in the U.S. donated by Toti Librizzi, owner of the Mirto Memory Museum. The exhibition can be visited until Sept. 5.