European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Designers

Object Voices / Capucci’s Sculptural Dresses

artexhibitionItalian fashion

From sculptural dresses to fabric sculptures

Roberto Capucci’s career has always been characterised by experimentation and research in fabric manipulation, which led him to obtain a sculptural structure in his dresses. This approach positioned him on the cusp between art and fashion.

His first direct encounter with the art world happened in 1978, when he created the Column (Colonna), a sculptural dress in which the shape and rigidity of a classical columns met the fluid neatness of satin, resulting in an astounding wearable piece of art.  

The apex of this creative turn was reached in 1995, when Capucci became the first fashion creator to exhibit his work in the Biennale Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia, in its 100th edition, curated by Jean Clair. Capucci crafted twelve fabric sculptures, not to be worn but only to be exhibited, finally declaring his position on the long standing and divisive debate on the relationship between fashion and art. 

Another crucial creation in this direction is the fabric sculpture Oceano, created in 1998 for the Lisbon World Expo. Oceano was crafted out of precious taffetas, in several shades of blue, representing the different depths of the ocean.