Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Fiorucci

When I studied in Milan in the mid-1980s, Fiorucci store was a place of pilgrimage for nascent designers. In visual terms, the store looked like a complete opposite of MOSS: noisy, cramped, full of tourists, cluttered with colorful screaming things. If anything, it was a design version of Oriental bazaar. One could always be sure to find something new, weird, and unexpected.

Elio Fiorucci came from the family of shoe makers. Ever since his first success, making galoshes in primary colors instead of black, he loved color and pattern. In a typical Italian way, he made no distinction between furniture, clothing, and fun novelties, and his store mixed everything together. The shop’s windows on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele became an important stage for the most outrageous projects and performances of New Italian Design. Alessandro Mendini’s Dress Furniture was shown there, and so were Memphis objects and installations. In The Hot House, Andrea Branzi calls the place “one of the most progressive and well-informed cultural milieus in Milan”. (Some people will say the same about Fiorucci’s short-lived New York shop, but that’s another story, not mine.)

Among endless accessories produced by Fiorucci every summer season was this irresistible silk wrap. Two stylized grotesque types are having a drink on the beach, with a bomb falling in the background. The colors and the style unmistakably point to Nathalie du Pasquer, one of the original Memphis designers. Hardly any design student of today will have any sympathy to this strange drawing, prescient and dated at the same time. Yet back in the 80s, this wrap was too precious for me to put it to any practical use; instead, it hung on the wall like an odd tapestry in my shared apartment in Milan. Who knows, maybe the idea of my future Buildings of Disaster was hatched while contemplating this dystopian image.

After many financial troubles and changes of ownership, Fiorucci store finally closed its doors in 2003. There is no other place like that in Milan today.

Blogger ultradolls said...

hello there
thanks for this nice article about fiorucci
i was always a hug fan of this incredible brand and for sure was a big influence in my work (till this day) i remeber visiting milan in the early eighties just to visit the store but unfortunately it was closed i do not remeber why but anyway
years later it was the nineties i worked for diesel in italy and one day i was introduced to mr fiorucci the man himself it was like meeting an old friend he was very nice and friendly (something which is a rarity in fashion world these days )well still i got some fiorucci memorabilia at home like huge cans some bags and some shirts from back in the days )i still carry them with me wherever i went
unfortunately the label has gone done in real tacky pink girly mediocer thing
maybe it was there at the right time the right place the right vibe
you will find some images on my blog enjoy
best the ultradoll

August 5, 2011 at 6:27 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home