Germana Marucelli (1903-83). A visionary fashion creator and the origin of the Made in Italy

Italiano (Italian)


Museum of Costume and Fashion of Pitti Palace
From 13/06/2023 to 24/09/2023

Clothes and jewellery, artworks, photographs and sketches will be on display in the anthological exhibition that recounts, for the first time in a comprehensive manner, the style, imagination and visions of the woman who was described as an ‘intellectual seamstress’ by Fernanda Pivano and a ‘rare interpreter of poetry’ by Giuseppe Ungaretti.

“Germana Marucelli (1905-1983). A visionary at the origins of Made in Italy” is the title of the exhibition dedicated to the revolutionary Florentine fashion designer, which can be visited until 24 September in fifteen new rooms of the Fashion Museum in Palazzo Pitti, reopened to visitors just for this occasion.

“The dress is pictorial in its colour – said Marucelli – sculptural in its shape, architectural in its functionality, poetic because it creates a harmonious state. The dress must help woman find herself”.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone

About 150 pieces make up the rich and varied itinerary of the exhibition, organised by the Uffizi Galleries in collaboration with the Associazione Germana Marucelli and curated by Silvia Casagrande and Vanessa Gavioli.

The aim of the exhibition is to introduce the general public to one of the most emblematic figures of Made in Italy, an important voice in the cultural and economic rebirth of post-war Italy and beyond.

Articulated as a journey backwards, from the early 1980s to the late 1940s, the exhibition evokes the historical scenario in which Made in Italy was born in Florence, and more precisely in Palazzo Pitti.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone

In the spaces of the Fashion Museum, the clothes created by Marucelli are placed in dialogue with works of art and jewellery by Italian artists with whom she collaborated, such as Paolo Scheggi, Pietro Gentili and Getulio Alviani; great importance is given to the relationship between art, architecture, fashion and culture in the broadest sense.

The exhibition therefore recreates the settings of both the designer’s cultural salon, the fulcrum of her activity in the 1940s and 1950s (and frequented by poets, artists and intellectuals such as Giuseppe Ungaretti, Eugenio Montale and Salvatore Quasimodo, Gillo Dorfles, Lucio Fontana, Massimo Campigli, Francesco Messina, Bruno Munari, Ettore Sottsass, Giò Ponti, and the philosopher Dino Formaggio) as well as the atelier designed for her by Paolo Scheggi in 1964, thus allowing the visitor to enter directly into the place and the historical moment when Fashion was being made.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone

L’accento è posto in particolare sul percorso artistico unico e ‘multidisciplinare’ della stilista, che, tra spinta innovativa e continui rimandi ai grandi temi del passato ha anticipato linguaggi oggi attuali, ponendosi a tutti gli effetti come pioniera di nuove tendenze e visioni. La sua ricerca stilistica, che assume a tratti connotazioni tour court antropologiche, si concentra nella realizzazione di abiti che non avvolgano la donna, ma che ne siano estensione e interpretazione. In lei prevale un concetto nuovo per la moda del tempo, in cui la donna non è più soggetto passivo da rivestire di significati, ma al contrario ne diventa componente attiva, ragione e senso. Nelle sue collezioni Germana Marucelli esprime perfettamente l’animo femminile di un tempo in costante cambiamento; e ne incanala il potenziale espressivo, raffigurandone con gli abiti le diverse incarnazioni, come la Guerriera-Sacerdotessa, la mistica donna in Saio, la donna Cinetica degli op-dress, la Crisalide, donna in continua metamorfosi.

Ancorata al Rinascimento fiorentino al punto da farne uno stile di vita, diviene mecenate delle arti, fulcro di un salotto culturale, “I Giovedì di Germana Marucelli” e persino promotrice del premio di poesia il “San Babila”.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone


Germana Marucelli, born at the turn of the century in Settignano on the outskirts of Florence, is considered to all intents and purposes the forerunner of Made in Italy. During the war she began to develop her own style, independent of French haute couture and considered by many to be a forerunner of Dior’s New Look. Towards the end of the 1940s, she flanked Giovan Battista Giorgini in his battle for the affirmation of Italian fashion and enthusiastically participated in the first events that marked its debut in Florence: in February 1951 at Villa Torrigiani, and then in July 1952 at the Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti, the birthplace of the “Italian High Fashion Show”. From the very beginning, his collections attracted great interest from the press, both national and international, and from American buyers.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone

Considered one of the most active promoters of interdisciplinarity between fashion and art, Marucelli chooses to dedicate her life to the former and nurtures an innate passion for the latter. Aware of the importance of the sense of belonging and the richness of our civilisation, she bases her creative work on two very strong inner movements: on the one hand the powerful call of history, and on the other the extraordinary sensitivity to the social, cultural and costume evolutions underway. Always anticipating new frontiers, right from her beginnings in the world of fashion, she has set herself the lofty goal of helping women express themselves through clothes, conceived as “an instrument of irradiation of their own selves”.

Germana Marucelli. ph. Antonio Quattrone