Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Alta Moda Catania style


Marella Ferrera is her name. Never heard of her? I hadn't either. But we all might want to since she is Catania's link to the world of Italian alta moda. And fashionista or not, you can experience the designer's creative work in person by visiting her atelier, which occupies a small corner of the stunning Palazzo Biscari here in Catania. The space is divided into two long corridors, one dark, suggestive, dramatic, hip--the 'Museum'--and the other sun-drenched, filled with racks of the latest made-to-order gowns--the 'MF Studio'.

In 2008 the Biscari family decided to open up this corner of their palazzo to high fashion in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the palace's original museum, which once stood in this very place. Take a breath and see if you can say this without pausing--Prince Iganzio Paterno' Castello V Prince of Biscari (phew!)--well he was the family's forefather who created a natural science and antiquities gallery here, famed in the 1700s (and visited by Goethe) for being one of the most important museums in Italy at the time.

While the current incarnation of the 'museum' has nothing whatsoever to do with the original one, the tie here is more conceptual and symbolic than anything else. But in addition to the installation  showcasing Ferrera's innovative style, 'Oltre l'abito...il pensiero', you will see some remnants of the past--the original tiled flooring, two excavated stone altars--as well as some contemporary paintings, in this most unusual of spaces. Feels more NYC than Catania, that's for sure!

P.S. the historical information was translated from the Museum-Fashion web site.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Lost, I remember watching a documentary about Marella Ferrera whilst in England a few years ago, I came back to Catania and told my husband about this designer (at the time I couldn't remember her name)who makes dresses from lava and has a museum somwhere here in Catania. He found it hard to believe me !!! Now I have the proof. Thanks for posting this information, you have solved a very long drawn out dispute....

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