Born in 1930, designer Roberto Capucci had already made a name for himself in the fashion world by the tender age of 20. He opened his first couture salon in Rome in 1950, and gained immediate recognition for his stylish, architectural designs. In 1956, Christian Dior called the young designer a prodigy, and “the best creator of Italian fashion.” By 1957, Capucci’s fashion had become one of the most popular European brands in the U.S. after his geometric dress above was featured in an iconic Cadillac ad. In 1962, the fashion icon moved to Paris, where he created some of his most unusual designs, incorporating materials like raffia, plastic, straw, sacking, and Plexiglas. After six successful years in Paris, Capucci moved back to his native Italy, and continued to work well into his advanced years.
“I don’t consider myself a tailor or a designer but an artisan looking for ways of creating, looking for ways to– Roberto Capucci
express a fabric to use it as a sculptor uses clay.”
It’s immediately apparent in Capucci’s work that he disliked typical silhouettes and preferred creating his own unexpected shapes. An art critic once described Capucci’s work as “soft medieval armor.” The designer had a magnificent way of looking at fashion, employing not just innovative shapes but also new uses of color. His Oceano sculpture-dress, for example, exhibited at the Italian pavilion of the Lisbon Expo in 1992, featured 172 shades of blue.