This past week I had the treat of visiting the Fondazione Roberto Capucci in Florence, which is a little more off the beaten path and not a typical stop on the well-worn Florentine tourist trail. I had met someone at TBDI (the travel blogging conference I attended a month ago in Rimini) who worked for the Capucci foundation and who had offered to show me around when she was on business in Florence, and of course I jumped at the opportunity! The Foundation holds many of Capucci’s designs and dresses in its archives and loans them out to major exhibitions. In addition, they have a small selection of dresses on view at their headquarters in the Villa Bardini.

Villa Bardini is located across the Arno… and up. And up. Plan for a bit of an uphill hike, but know that the view from the top is worth it! I was lucky to be shown around by Ilaria, who I had met at the conference as well as one of her colleagues, so I got the inside scoop and personal commentary on the dresses we were viewing. There aren’t really labels associated with the dresses, so I recommend going either with a tour or reading up on Capucci’s designs before going. Turns out he was hugely significant to Italian fashion, but I really didn’t know anything about him before going to the museum, so it was a really interesting experience. The dresses on display are typically rotated once per year and are dresses (obviously) that are not currently on loan to other institutions. The Costume Gallery at Palazzo Pitti also has a Capucci design on display.

Below you can see some of Capucci’s early designs. All are silk and completely handmade. The one on top is designed as sort of a lily flower shape with the gentle draping at the hips.

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I found this room particularly impressive. All of this was done by hand! That’s a lot of talent… and a lot of patience.

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The museum was really such an interesting look at Italian fashion and one designer in particular. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re willing to go a little further in Florence; it’s something that not everyone gets to see but so, so interesting. I found the drawings just as interesting as the dresses… not just the designs, but the incredible detail that was put into them. So impressive!

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And the view from the top (the Bardini Gardens) is incredible!

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The museum is a scant 5 euros* for admission, much cheaper than many other museums in the area and is a must-see for any fashion lover, particularly lovers of Italian fashion and history. Let me know if you decide to check it out! Where have you been to see incredible fashion collections?

*I was granted free admission to the museum as I went with Ilaria, but as always, my opinions are my own. I wouldn’t send you guys to do things I didn’t absolutely love!

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