European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Designers

Fashion Report – From Alfa to Missoni

fashion photographyItalian fashion

At Ma*Ga an exhibition on the collaboration between the photographer Alfa Castaldi and the Italian knitwear brand during the late 1960s.

Made in Italy is not just a label sewn onto garments, referring to their designs, ideas, and their skilful manufacturing and production, but it is also a wide imagery, strongly linked to a creative system capable of visualising it, where clothes are narrated and interpreted by talents such as photographers, editors, stylists.

This is what the exhibition ‘Fashion Report – From Alfa to Missoni’ opened on July 15 2023, at Ma*Ga, the art museum in Gallarate, showcases: the story of the Missoni innovative knitwear interpreted and lensed by Alfa Castaldi in his fashion photographs.

Alfa Castaldi was part of a milanese network of creatives able to experience and document the swinging cultural life in 1960s italy. In 1958 he met the journalist and fashion editor Anna Piaggi, with whom he had a long-lasting loving and creative relationship. It was through her that he was introduced to Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, and started to photograph their fashion designs.

The exhibition features 22 images selected personally by Castaldi amongst the fashion editorials he shot between 1968 and 1970. The selection was made in 1978 – on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the brand – he paid homage to Missoni reprinting a collection of photographs documenting the creations of the knitwear firm.

At Ma*Ga, the display moves from the pictures to the real objects: the images are in fact facing a selection of five of the outfits conserved by the Missoni Archive, perfectly showcasing the Missoni Style. These first experiments with knit-fabric and jacquard are now a well-known signature – or code – of the brand

The strong bond with its local roots led Missoni to often collaborate with the Gallarate art museum Ma*Ga. Here there’s a permanent installation of hanging, colourful tapestries made by Ottavio Missoni: the Sala Arazzi, which now hosts the new exhibition curated by Archivio Missoni, on view until October 22nd, 2023.