The Tailor Painter
by Sonia Bagnetti
Yes, Pino Lancetti came from Umbria, and we could say that he was an Umbrian DOC, one of those who have left an indelible imprint in the world of which Umbria can be really proud.
He was born in Bastia Umbra on November 27th, 1928; there he spent his youth, and since then it was clear his gentle soul and that artistic touch which led him to embark on a career as a fashion designer, thanks to which he became an absolute protagonist all over the world.
We recover precious pearls from Lancetti’s life from the monograph that Professor Edda Vetturini, his former teacher and great supporter, dedicated him in 2007, the year of his death, throughout a special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia» published by Pro Loco di Bastia Umbra.
By reading, we learn how young Pino did not want to attend his peers, because he preferred to draw sketches on that drawing album from which he never separated and how, since then, his works were animated by fantasy and extraordinary talent.
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, and after a first period spent in Umbria, where he worked as a designer, first in ceramics production then in the artistic field of Perugina, in 1954 he moved to Rome.
An umbrian tailor that reached the top of fashion
Here he opened his own laboratory in Via Margutta and slowly began to create a his fame in the Capital, which allowed him to make his first collection for Princess Lola Giovannelli. His work was applauded by the greatest Italian fashion journalist, Irene Brin, and from that moment on he began his important career as a haute couture designer.
Art was his inspirational muse, in particular painting, and painters oriented his most famous collections: the first, a success of 1956, was influenced by Modigliani; in 1977 the Italian Style Renaissance collection was suggested by Raffaello‘s rooms, and finally the realization of true art masterpieces with the launch of the Sophisticated Lady in 1984, fabrics embellished with drawings that tell the deep suggestions of the artists he loved and that driven him: Cimabue, Giotto, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Modigliani.
More than dresses, his creations were real works of art, that had to be exhibited more than worn, and it was no coincidence that Lancetti was attributed by the specialized press the nickname of “tailor-painter“.
That tailor-painter who, in 1986, for the 25th anniversary of haute couture, presented at Villa Medici, which hosted the Accademia di Francia, a wonderful collection in honor of Picasso, together with an exhibition presented by the great painter in his latest artistic period: «Arlecchino’s models attracts in the same way as those of the Spanish artist, joining, painting and Fashion, in a harmonious union with Art.»
Tradition and innovation: Lancetti’s versatility
Lancetti’s fashion was refined and precious, the dresses were often adorned with woven embroideries, decorated with stones, crystals, sequins. Each item was unique and unrepeatable that has to be admired as the paintings loved by the artist and that inspired him.
His scarves became famous all over the world, real paintings with a single frame, which represented a symbol of elegance and sophistication between the Seventies and Nineties.
Pino Lancetti was a multifaceted artist and he worked for the cinema industry (in 1979 he created the costumes for the film La Luna by Bernardo Bertolucci); he was the creator of profound transformations resulting from a constant study and careful research: creativity yes, but without improvisation.
Together with the gown-work of art, the designer perceived the need for change in female fashion, in line with the emancipation that women were experiencing in the Seventies. Hence the need to create a fast, practical, easy-to-wear fashion: in this way originated the prêt-à-porter that awarded him the Italian Press Special Prize.
Lancetti was indeed a fashion designer loved by the press, Italian and foreign, and he was awarded many prizes during his career: from Knight of the Republic to the Nomination in Who’s in Italy 1997, from the Golden Baiocco of the City of Perugia, at the Career Oscar from the National Chamber of Fashion. Just to name a few. In 2001, Ciampi appointed him a Grand Officer for the merit of the Republic.
Among the numerous exhibitions dedicated to him, we want to remember the one set up in his region: in 1999, in the Cannoniera Hall of Rocca Paolina, there were exposed a hundred haute couture masterpieces belonging to the private collection of the artist.
The citizen's tribute
Ten years after the disappearance of Pino Lancetti, Bastia Umbra, who, after his death, received the coffin of his fellow citizen in a lively embrace, he wanted to dedicate to him the piazza adjacent to the Church of San Rocco.
In the middle of the small Largo Pino Lancetti, he looks with his elegant and vaguely melancholic air those streets that many times saw him walk, carrying his inseparable drawing album under his arm.
E. Vetturini, Lancetti. Il Re dell’Alta Moda, special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia», Pro Loco of Bastia Umbra, November 2007.⇑
E. Vetturini, Lancetti. Il Re dell’Alta Moda, special edition of «Il Giornale di Bastia», Pro Loco of Bastia Umbra, November 2007. The publication was courtesy of Vanda Lancetti, Pino’s sister.
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