The Museums of Palazzo dei Pio in Carpi, Modena, will host the exhibition HABITUS - wearing freedom – until March 6th 2022. An accurate analysis of the liberation of the body, especially the female one, from physical and social constraints through the most significant stages of fashion innovation.
Interview with ALBERTO CASELLI MANZINI
CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR BACKGROUNG, INTERESTS, AND AREAS OF WORK
After studying as a set and costume designer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, in 2000 I began working in an international newsroom of fashion magazines. As a true outsider, but with a great passion for fashion, I found myself on an exciting journey of discovery.
From my first position as fashion editor, I reached the role of director of the magazine Collezioni - Sport&Street, continuing then in the world of business consulting for major companies and international agencies. Today, as a teacher, I carry on the adventure of sharing techniques and experiences, teaching in public and private universities.
HOW DOES HABITUS FIT INTO THE CONTEXT OF THE FESTIVAL OF PHILOSOPHY?
The exhibition was born from the desire of pure adherence to the theme "Freedom" on which the FestivalFilosofia 2021 was focused and to enhance the territory of Carpi, one of the Italian cities with a rich and important tradition in the textile industry.
"Habitus. Wearing Freedom" analyzes how, in the twentieth century, the most significant stages of fashion innovation have often coincided with moments of liberation of the body –especially the female one– from physical and social constraints.
WHERE DID YOU START FROM TO ORGANIZE THE EXHIBITION AND HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE SUBJECTS?
Let's say that I jumped on a moving train! Manuela Rossi, director of the Museums of Palazzo dei Pio, as well as curator together with Luca Panaro, invited me to co-curate this exhibition conceived and produced by the Municipality of Carpi. My role, considering the context of the FestivalFilosofia, focused on the semiotic, sociological and historical description of fashion, enriching the meaning of those iconic garments that represented and, in some cases, still symbolically evoke "freedom".
WHAT WERE THE DIFFICULTIES YOU FOUND IF THERE WERE ANY?
The most difficult challenge was the choice of the storytelling for the exhibition. More than 80 years of history, inventions, innovations, scientific discoveries, artistic and philosophical movements, as well as the extraordinary work of many important fashion designers of the last century, made the road to the final editing both difficult and stimulating.
WHAT REMAINS OF THAT CONQUERED "FREEDOM" TODAY?
It is important to understand the past and above all to be aware that that conquered freedom is a work in progress. As the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn says, every paradigm change occurs when a certain vision of the world is no longer enough to describe its richness and complexity.
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF FASHION, WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES OF A REVOLUTION TODAY?
Today we are facing a great paradigm shift. Sustainability and digitalization are the new levers on which fashion, and not only, will try to change a linear economy into a circular economy. We will see more and more in the coming decades a new way of designing, producing, buying, communicating and wearing fashion.
CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING PROJECTS?
At the moment I can confidently say that the most stimulating projects are those that create interconnections between our inner and outer world. The ability to enhance this aspect by giving moments of pure beauty, joy and reflection, are key points in the choice and implementation of my future projects.
HABITUS - 17.09.2021 / 06.03.2022
Carpi, Palazzo dei Pio
Images provided by Alberto Caselli Manzini