Roberto Capucci is one of the most important fashion designers of our time. His work has always been groundbreaking: It is architectural, a study in shape and form, color and texture, sculptural and sensual, and always about astonishing beauty.
Capucci’s artistic nature is deep.That is palpable when in his presence and in seeing his creations. His shows now are not ‘fashion’ shows in the traditional sense, but exhibitions in ancient palaces and centuries-old cathedrals. Fitting places for such a regal master.
I met Capucci several years ago, on a warm February day in Rome. I was there writing a story on him for 1stdibs.com. As they always do, 1stdibs recognized what a design innovator he was in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, & 80s, and, that he was a bold hero who had been unafraid to pushed boundaries. I’m still proud of this story: http://www.1stdibs.com/introspective/creators/roberto_capucci/
I remember how humble, and soft-spoken he was during our meeting. He appeared in the room where we were meeting, dressed elegantly in Indian/Asian inspired attire. He revealed that he had been drawing while waiting for me. In fact, he said that he drew every day for several hours. I asked him if he would show me what he had been working on. Here,is a photo of him displaying his work. The drawings were interesting, but I had already been to the Fondazione Roberto Capucci, in Florence, and had seen some of his early fashion drawings there that were breathtaking.
The photos I took at his atelier are seen here. It felt special; a private inner sanctum. There were framed black and white photos of famous women he had designed clothing for. Magnificent dresses were draped on mannequins that had stood effortlessly over time. I remember Capucci walking me into the back work room, where he showed me dresses sewn and designed decades earlier. A year and a half later they were all on display at The Philadelphia Museum. For that exhibition Capucci finally received accolades in the USA, so many years after his work had first been shown here, in fashion shows, and at Neiman Marcus!
For the really amazing photos you’ll need to click on the 18-page 1stdibs.com story. The layouts and clothing seen there are fresh and modern and staggeringly beautiful.
So today, before Christmas, as we move into the new year, I want to think about the beauty that Capucci created. How grateful I am for others, like Capucci, who inspire me so profoundly.
My hat is tipped toward Rome, where Capucci still lives.
I bet he’s still drawing every day.