As the 93rd edition of menswear fair Pitti Immagine Uomo gets underway, a new Palazzo Pitti exhibition pays tribute to one of Italy’s master fashion designers, Rome-born Roberto Capucci. Opening on January 9, Dionysian Capucci: Sketches for the Theatre brings together 72 of the designer’s large format drawings in the Andito degli Angiolini.
Visitors familiar with Capucci will note a marked departure from his signature designs: these sketches are not of the sculptural, couture dresses that made him famous, but of a fantastical series of masculine theatre costumes. Part of an artistic project Capucci has worked on quietly since the 1990s, they are not intended for any specific stage production, but are inspired by an imagined, dreamlike mis-en-scene in which artists have complete creative freedom.
The application of the term “Dionysian” to the works on display stems not from depictions of boundless revelry, but from Dionysus’ underemphasized role as the god of theatre. Stage-ready qualities of ambiguity, mystery and metamorphosis are recurring themes in the sketches, which director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt described in the catalog as “nearly a project of engineering; in any case, perfectly planned in the mind and executed without second thoughts.” Further demonstrating such decisiveness was Capucci's choice to curate the exhibition himself. This is, to continue Schmidt's words, “a Dionysian Capucci, yes, but with rock-solid discipline.”
Capucci Dionisiaco. Disegni per il teatro
January 9-February 14, 2018
Andito degli Angiolini, Palazzo Pitti, Florence