Even if you only glanced at a picture in passing, the image of Anna Piaggi would have undoubtedly left an imprint in your memory: her blue marcel curls, rouge-dotted cheeks, flamboyant hats and colourful, pattern-clashing clothes were an unmistakable fixture on the front row, one that will be sorely missed as the fashion world learns today of the 81-year-old’s passing.
Piaggi was born in Milan in 1931, and broke into the editorial world as a translator at the Mondadori publishing house. She moved into fashion journalism as the fashion editor of Italy’s first women’s magazine Arianna in the ‘60s, and began contributing to Vogue Italia in the ‘70s. She’s began writing for everything from Vanity Fair to L’Espresso, and as her editorial page count grew, so did her eccentric wardrobe. Her 2865 dresses and 265 pairs of shoes were celebrated in a Topshop-sponsored, Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit entitled “Fashion-ology” in 2006, while friend and admirer Karl Lagerfeld documented over 250 sketches of her many looks in Lagerfeld’s Sketchbook.
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