Anna Piaggi, Italian writer and style icon, dies at 81 – The Hollywood Reporter
The name Anna piaggi isn’t that well-known in Hollywood, unless you talk to fashion people. Because people in the fashion industry all over the world knew and celebrated her all. Like the end Isabelle blow and Diana vreeland before her, her eccentric and very broad personal style made her media image larger than life – and she always lived up to it.
Although she started her career in the Italian publishing world as a translator and continued to write for Vogue Italy, Piaggi – who died Tuesday in Milan at the age of 81 – is best known for her collection of 2,865 dresses and 265 pairs of shoes, some of which herself were designed and many of which were documented in an exhibition in 2006 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London called “Fashion-ology”.
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Piaggi always wore bright red lipstick, two coral doll-like circles on her cheeks like blush and a handful of must-see turquoise eyeshadow. She almost always wore tall hats – top hats (including a Union Jack), garden party brim hats – and many were designed by her great friend, the British milliner. Stephen Jones. She also colored two strands of hair in the front that protruded from her hats in bright blue – wearing pastel hair long before anyone else in the East Village.
Her multi-colored furs, patterned skirts all the way to the floor, and her rabid use of rainbow hues – she was like a walking technicolor painting – also served as inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld, who published an entire sketchbook on her creations and wrote: “Anna invents fashion. Manolo Blahnik called him “the last great authority on dresses”. And she was one of the people the international fashion tribe most expected to see in the runway shows in Milan and Paris: the look was always going to be strong, daring and wildly creative.
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Jones, her great friend, called her Tuesday a “guiding light and inspiration” and paid tribute to what he called “her effervescence and inventiveness. Piaggi was a talisman for those around the world who believe that fashion is a way of life and that freedom of expression should be manifested in what we wear.
The top ranks in Europe will not be the same without it.