A Designer Who Belongs Among Italy's Greatest: Emilio Federico Schuberth
Being here in Italy, I'm feeling inspired to learn more about the country's roots in fashion. Beyond the designers and fashion houses whose names are ubiquitous around the world (Gucci, Prada, Valentino), I want to learn more about what animates the Italian approach to getting dressed. I was doing some research on the topic, when I came across this dress:
I (of course) clicked the image and learned of a designer named Emilio Federico Schuberth who was considered one of the most important Italian couturiers of the 20th century; Valentino was his student. From The Met's description of the designer:
"...a rather identifiable Italian aesthetic...can be credited to the custom designs of early couturiers like Emilio Schuberth...His clothing embodied the concept of la bella figura, [which]...communicated Italy's inherent sensuality, grace, and love of leisure, all qualities that would later signify Italian style in global consumption."
Still, I'd never heard of Schuberth before. It's always strange to me when some artists, or designers, or musicians fade into the annals of history despite a significant contribution to their respective art forms as we've come to know them. In the fashion world, Charles James might be another notable example, although the 2014 exhibition of his work at The Met certainly advanced the case that he was one of the great minds and talents in the history of fashion. In any event, it's never too late to celebrate someone's achievements, so let's do so by taking a look at a few of Schuberth's creations.