A few weeks ago I visited one of the most fashion irresistible expos of the year, on the last day as usual!
One year after her death, and at the end of the Milan Fashion week, Palazzo Morando opened the doors to the most insane, eclectic hat collections that I’ve ever seen: Anna Piaggi’s hat collection. In four petite displays that recreated her house, this accessory is fully represented and is quite possibly the staple that contributes to her status as an icon. It’s dubious how varied the form and style are throughout this exhibition. And it is almost inconceivable how many she had and how creative, crazy and foolish most of them are! Every piece has its own story, including the shoe-hat that Bill Cunningham donated to her… which is rumored now to have been stolen during the expo.
She once said, “My hat is personal. It is what contains the soul, the feeling, the sensation that moves this little world around.”
They are only about 60 (…of the 900 she owned!) most of them created by the best designers such as Chanel, Prada and Dior just for her. This journey inside Anna Piaggi’s faux apartment, in the center of the Fashionable Milan, stimulates all of your senses… for example: the sound of her old Olivetti typewriter (Valentina) or the vignette Anne and Marcel, the pictures of her taken by her husband Alfa Castaldi, her piles of magazines, her vintage pieces… everything is perfectly put in place to teach us know more about this wonderful woman. Ivo Bisignano, one of the creators of the expo, also created all the awesome graphic pieces like the decorations and the amazing faux-covers.
Maybe it was just too small to contain such an extraordinary woman, or maybe a hat cannot say all there is to say her… but viewing this through the words of Shirley McLaine, “Life is like a new hat. You don’t know if it suits you if you keep trying it on in front of your own mirror,” I’d say this experience through her life was great and the work done was admirable… definitely one of my favorite expos of the year!