The Italian Almanac

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an image from The Leopard

Italian News - April 20

Sumptuous costumes worn on set by Italian cinema legends like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida are the stars of a new show near the French capital. The exhibition, which is entitled Soul of the Diva, runs at the Arts Centre of the spa town of Enghien Les Bains until June 26. It features 16 outfits, presented alongside design sketches and photographs showing the context they were worn in.

"A year ago the director of the centre gave me carte blanche to show some of my works under the theme of the diva," explained Maurizio Galante, the Italian designer who selected the dresses on display. "But after reflecting on this, instead I decided to give space to my memories and tell the stories of the Italian women who are part of my past and inspired me with their clothes".

Pride of place goes to dresses made to show off the Mediterranean curves of Loren and Lollobrigida by renowned Italian costume designer Emilio Schubert. Another highlight is the outfit Claudia Cardinale wore in the last scene of Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963), in which she starred opposite Burt Lancaster.

There are costumes donned by Anna Magnani in Jean Renoir's Le Carrosse d'Or as well as the tunic worn by Silvana Mangano in Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1970 adaptation of Oedipus Rex. The show also features a dress worn by Federico Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina in the great director's surreal 1965 production, 'Giulietta degli Spiriti' (Juliet of the Spirits).