Inaugurated on Monday 21 October 2019, the exhibition “Fashion & Cars” is the third chapter of the “Italo Design” trilogy, telling the story of Italian car styling thanks to the cars of the Lopresto Collection.
The exhibition combines, in a not-unprecedented but certainly unusual combination, very rare custom-built cars with haute couture dresses, lent by the collection of Maison Mila Schön. A combination that reminds the 1950s and 1960s concourses d’elegance and recalls how coachworks were born like clothes back then, tailor-made for the client by world-famous stylists.
Like the previous editions of "Italo Design", dedicated to the 70s prototypes and to designer Ercole Spada, also “Fashion & Cars” takes place inside the Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport – Verkehrshaus, the most important Swiss museum with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year coming to admire trains, planes, ships and of course cars.
FASHION & CARS
The 1950s and 1960s saw a flurry of development in Italian bodywork, with stunning limited editions constructed using Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Fiat frames and prestigious Ferrari and Maserati mechanics. In those years, cars still left the factory as bare frames. Their bodies would then be handcrafted by expert panel beaters. They were designed by exceptional stylists such as Mario Revelli, Franco Scaglione and Giovanni Michelotti, who showed to clients sketches of their work.
This way of building cars, in which the body is used to dress the mechanics, is a technique that has been almost entirely forgotten. These were also the years of Concourses d'Elegance (Cortina, Villa d’Este, Campione d’Italia, Pincio), where cars were paraded like models to show off the latest automotive design ideas.
It is therefore natural to place these wonderful limited edition cars alongside the elegance of haute couture items, which evolved in a similar manner. The clothes of the Maison Mila Schön collection accompany the extraordinary cars of the Collezione Lopresto, just as models accompanied cars in Concours d'Elegance in times gone by.
The Mila Schön story began in 1958, with a small haute couture workshop in via San Pietro all’Orto in Milan. Mila Schön, an elegant exponent of the middle-class demi-monde, decided to express her own vision of simple, modern luxury. In a world that was modernising and moving at a fast pace, intuition was key. Her success soon crossed over the Italian border, bringing Milanese spirit and understatement to the far corners of the world.
In 1966 she opened her first boutique on Via Monte Napoleone. Fascinated by the cultural debate that was going on and inspired by her personal relationship with contemporary artists such as Lucio Fontana, Mila Schön injected experimentation into fashion design.
Since 1992, the Mila Schön brand has been owned by Itochu Corporation.
1952 Lancia Aurelia Coupe Vignale
1955 Lancia Florida Pinin Farina
1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 Cabriolet “La Fléche” Vignale
1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Spider Prototipo
1962 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider Ghia Prototipo
1963 Lancia Flaminia Coupé Speciale Pininfarina
1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ