It’s ok to connect Sophia Loren and Anita Eckberg in the Fontana di Trevi when thinking of Italian style. That was la dolce vita, Cinecitta’ and the luxurious and extravagant lives of the first paparazzi-ed movie stars.
That’s a good starting point, when thinking of “the Italian way”, it’s sweet, retro and glamorous. But, and here you have to trust me, we kinda moved from Sophia. She grew, evolved and became an Hollywood icon of Italian beauty, but Italians don’t recognize themselves in her anymore, we think she is the glory of our past, we are somehow proud of her, yet she belongs to a collective imaginary that is not modern anymore
Style however has evolved, and her stance may lead to the misconception that Italian style means expensive clothing, glamorous wardrobes, custom made shoes and lavish lives. Ennio Flaiano said: Fashion is the self-portrait of a society.
Virna Lisi, Anna Magnani, Monica Vitti are more of the icons we look up to, because they kept it real, with irony, sense of humor, wit, elegance, simplicity, frugality, sensuality …
- Fresh flowers
- Your own perfume (chapter 7 has the whole shenanigans about it)
- Put a smile on it
- Sneakers and leggings belong to the gym
- Comb your hair, polish your shoes, because “you never know”
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Your grandmother’s armoire is where you go first
- No garlic powder or canned grated Parmesan cheese wannabe
- You fight for the best part of the fish, the cheek
- Sunday long lunches almost always end with an animated discussion about soccer or politics
- But the above mentioned Sunday lunches also are for fresh pastries from the local pasticceria
- Seamstress and cobbler are preciously kept numbers
- Coffeecoffee: expresso shot, no powder creamer or foam container
- Big pants and big watches
- Aperol spritz before dinner, summer time
- Frugally curate the closet
- Intangible quality of chic
- Don’t buy a size smaller
- Domestic goddessing, like Pandora Sykes calls it, is part of your life whether you are a man or a woman.
- Flats or heels
- Black is fine, but navy!
- Don’t keep the good stuff for Sunday
I learned from the movie that it's been said that "Italy is not a country, but a state of mind, a point of view, a way of understanding the world."