(jana zielinski) When Franz Anton Bustelli, the famous author of porcelain figures, was working on the legendary Commedia dell´arte collection for the porcelain factory in Nymphenburg 260 years ago, he could not have suspected that, almost three hundred years later, the most renowned world designers would design brand new clothes for his figures.
The Commedia dell´arte stock characters represent the key human qualities in a stereotyped and humorous way. Julia is a delicate ingénue; Columbina is the unfaithful maid of Madame Isabella; there is also the melancholic Pierot, the wisenheimer Dottore, and his wife Donna Martina (who does not care about anything at all).
Vivienne Westwood, Viktor and Rolf, Christian Lacroix, and other fashion stars redesigned the clothes in their own separate ways, some of them even shifting the meaning and personality of some of the characters.
For instance, Viktor and Rolf were in charge of Columbina. After discovering that her inability to be faithful is such a tragic feature, they turned her into a character from a tragic story. They clothed her in a dress with a diamond pattern that covers the face, as well as the base of the statuette.
Naoko Takizawa, the long-standing creative director of the Issey Myiake brand, interpreted his statuette in a new way when he dressed Scaramouche in the streetwear from modern day Tokyo. Thus, Scaramouche keeps dancing. However, he now hears trance music and not rococo trills. He wears fantastic sneakers with heels.
Igor Chapurin, the guru of (not only) Russian fashion, designed a splendid dress for Corina. He used his two primary colors – brown and platinum. The result is slightly reminiscent of both chocolate and mahogany wood. Thus, Chapurin provided the already luxury figure with even more beauty.
Maurizio Galante used round ornaments in pastel colors for the chivalrous Octavio, the character who wins Isabella’s heart. His chivalrously ornamented face and hair must have helped a lot.
Ralph Rucci covered Pantalone with Chinese letters that depict the character’s long historical travels and provide this merchant of Venice with an oriental look.
The whole collection can be found at www.nymphenburg.com. It is a pity that no Czech fashion designers were commissioned for this project.
Scaramuz, design: Franz Anton Bustelli, decor: Naoki Takizawa, photo: Porzellan Manufaktur Nympenburg