Atelier Fontana - Le sorelle della moda


I have already seen so many good films about fashion designers - Coco before Chanel, Dior and I, Valentino: The Last Emperor or The Boy Who made Shoes for Lizards. Today, I was in that mood when you just want to relax with a cup of good mint tea and watch something interesting (yes, something about fashion). Something what will catch not only your eye, but your heart, as well. And you will think about it all day. I decided to watch movie about famous Fontana sisters, who worked so hard to reach their dreams. I was shocked. I laughed. I cried. I was proud. This film will definitely wake up your emotions. It was a really good choice!

Once upon a time, there were three little sisters - Zoe, Giovanna and Micol who lived in Traversetolo, a small center in the province of Parma. As time went by, they started to work all together in the tailoring that their mother Amabile leaded (she opened her own tailor shop in 1907). They became apprentices as soon as they were old enough to handle needles and scissors. Their work was hard and unpaid and they usually worked Saturdays and Sundays, as well. Despite the long hours, they loved their childhood and were happy. Micol was the one who had big dreams and different ideas like the others. She always wanted to move to the big city and do haute couture. She persuaded her sisters and they finally moved to Rome (but in real life it was Zoe, who  made the first move).

the real Fontana sisters

These women changed the history of Italian fashion. But at the beginning of their career, they were poor and could not even buy materials to make high fashion dresses. They tried to do everything what will push them to the next level; for example, they often exchanged their chickens on the black market for fabrics and haberdashery. Thanks to a princess who offered to help them, their situation rapidly changed. During the film, you will see lots of paradoxes and you will hardly believe that THIS really happened to them. 

Between the fifties and sixties, the Atelier Fontana was on everyone's lips. The Fontana's designs,  although they referred to French models, were inspired by Renaissance. The sisters were able to navigate between Parisian haute couture  and the originality of the Italian fashion. Their designs were known for  craftsmanship and intuition. Embroidery, lace and impeccable tailoring were characteristic of their garments. They specialized in formal wear and evening gowns and used the most precious materials, including velvet and silk. They  designed costumes and dresses for Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly or Jaqueline Kennedy.

Italy's first official fashion show in Florence, 1955

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn with Zoe Fontana

Elizabeth Taylor with Zoe and Giovanna 

Micol Fontana with Ava Gardner

Linda Christian - the American friend of Micol Fontana

Of the Fontana sisters, Micol lived the longest. She reached 101 (!) years and this is very admirable because she suffered a lot. These women are my heroes, because they never gave up and they worked really hard. After this film you will realize one thing - it does not matter if your boyfriend will break up with you, it does not matter if you will be very poor or it does not matter if you will not be accepted to your dream school - everything is in your hands. You CAN do it. Just watch this film and you will understand!

Zoe and Micol Fontana

the famous Fontana sisters

the Fontana sisters after years

actress Alessandra Mastronardi (who played the role of Micol in this film) with real Micol Fontana

Micol celebrated  her 100th birthday

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