The 1700s and their influence on contemporary fashion are the focus of a newly inaugurated exhibition held at Palazzo Morando-Costume Moda Immagine in Milan. The show will run until May 29, 2022.

The exhibition Settecento!” organized by Enrica Morini and Margherita Rosina, and coordinated by curator Ilaria De Palma, presents three precious pieces of clothing (two dresses and a bustier) from the 1700s for the first time. They were donated in 2019 by Amichae, an association committed to support Museum of Palazzo Morando and Museo del Risorgimento of the city, presided by Laura Colnaghi Calissoni also president of Carvico Group, a holding that owns the textile companies Carvico, Eurojersey, Jersey Lomellina, Hung Yen Knitting & Dyeing Co. Ltd and Carvico Ethiopia PLC.

An authentic 1700s dress
Photo: Settecento! - Palazzo Morando
An authentic 1700s dress
Along with the historical pieces, theater costumes, textile items from Ratti Foundation in Como and private collectors, contemporary fashion pieces from designers including Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferrè, Max Mara and Vivienne Westwood, complete the exhibition testifying how the Enlightenment century continues to fascinate, inspire and play a role in contemporary fashion.
Dresses from Max Mara (left and center) and Vivienne Westwood (right) reinterpreting Toile de Jouy motives
Photo: Settecento! - Palazzo Morando
Dresses from Max Mara (left and center) and Vivienne Westwood (right) reinterpreting Toile de Jouy motives
Calissoni Colnaghi commented: “When these extraordinary pieces were donated to our association, we did our best to show them. As our group is involved in producing long-lasting technical fabrics, we liked the idea to present clothes that continue to be beautiful 300 years later. Similarly, I think it’s important offering materials like the ones our companies produce that can be used for a long time thanks to our R&D, quality control and transparency-focused activities.
Laura Colnaghi Calissoni, president, Carvico Group
Photo: Settecento! - Palazzo Morando
Laura Colnaghi Calissoni, president, Carvico Group
Among others, sponsoring of the initiative is Eurojersey, a specialized knit fabric manufacturer. Andrea Crespi, general manager, Eurojersey, explained why the company decided to support the exhibition.“Apparently, Eurojersey and the pieces presented within this exhibition seem to be the exact opposite, but we are technically concentric. While these dresses remain eternally beautiful, fast fashion is the essence of anti-sustainability. Despite some of these brands use recycled materials that’s useless if after six months clothes made with them will be thrown away,” Crespi said.
A Dolce & Gabbana outfit from f/w 2012/2013
Photo: Giulia Bellezza
A Dolce & Gabbana outfit from f/w 2012/2013
“It’s time we change our attitude,” he continued. “We shall consume less and try to measure our impact, for instance, through PEF, as speaking about sustainability generically is equivalent to greenwashing.
Andrea Crespi, general manager, Eurojersey
Photo: Settecento! - Palazzo Morando
Andrea Crespi, general manager, Eurojersey
“We have to offer consumers the possibility to understand what impact a piece of clothing has and put them in the condition to choose. We have to start a change of paradigm and stop thinking of how much a product costs and rather start considering its worth.

“Our sector has now the opportunity to change direction. When entrepreneurs will be no longer only granted for their capacity to bring profit, but for their ability according to how much they can reduce their social, environmental and governance impact, we will start progressing.”
Authentic apparel from the 1700s
Photo: Settecento! - Palazzo Morando
Authentic apparel from the 1700s
“Each company has to be able to generate more value of what it consumes. We cannot speak of ‘zero’ impact, as we all have one. If resources are limited, we have to start caring more for them and try to save them. Now that electricity has grown so much, entrepreneurs have started asking their employees to switch off lights at night. That’s the beginning of a great new era.”



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