Ultramarin

Shop founded in 1996 in Kollwitplatz Berlin, an area of bars, restaurants and trendy boutiques. It showcases young Berliner designers. Specialized in women’s clothing, it also offers street-styles for men. However, the boutique’s real speciality is wedding dresses that it cuts and sews to order, offering a small sample collection of “necessary madness.”

Urbinati

Laura (1961). Italian designer. She defines her collections as “a cultural mix of old Europe and intellectual California.” In 1986 she moved from Rome to Los Angeles where she designed her first collection of swimwear, and five years later opened a showroom on Sunset Boulevard. In 1996 she opened a shop for clothing and accessories in Milan.
&Quad;The brand’s Milanese boutique in Piazza Sant’Eustorgio, sold 5,000 of its turquoise polka-dot hot pants. They became one of the cult items of the Summer, along with Antik Batik’s voile beach shirts, and Gucci’s plastic handbags.
&Quad;The Spring-Summer 2003 collection, inspired by bikinis from the 1970s, was shown together with another 125 labels from around the world at Lingerie Americas, the sector’s first international show, which was held from 4-6 August 2002 at the Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building in New York.

Ulster Museum

In Belfast, Northern Ireland. Its first collection was destroyed by a fire bomb in 1976, which was a year of intense conflict between Protestants and Catholics. After that, the museum worked hard to rebuild a collection of historic haute couture and general fashion. Each season the museum acquires a piece by an international designer, an Irish designer, and a department store so as to best represent fashion trends at every level. The museum has more than 4,000 pieces of clothing, accessories, and fabrics, dating from the end of the 17th century to the present day.

United Bamboo

Ready-to-wear label created by the Vietnamese Thuy Quang Pham (1968) with his partner Miho. who deals with research into textiles and production processes. Thuy studied at Cooper Union in New York where he graduated in architecture. Straight after his degree he joined the artists’ group Bernardette Corporation. The United Bamboo range was launched in Fall-Winter 1999-2000.

Unisex

A clothes style suitable both for women and men, based above all on the standard styles of pants (particularly jeans) that became a real fashion in the 1960s and 1970s — a kind of play on role reversals using shirts, waistcoats, blazers, and oversize sweaters. It opened up the possibility (and created the desire) for men to wear floral or patterned fabrics and strong colors that until then were only used by women.

UISTA

Unione Italiana Stampa Tessile e dell’Abbigliamento (Italian Textile and Clothing Press Association). From its base at the Circolo della Stampa (Press Club) in Milan, in the 1960s the association organized meetings, debates, awards, and visits to the major textile and clothing factories. The journalist Giuseppe Rasi was president, and Mila Contini, Elsa Robiola, and Mariapia Chiodini Beltrami were on its board. Its permanent members included Barbara Vitti, Silvana Bernasconi, Elisa Massai, Lucia Mari, Vera Rossi Lodomez, Rina Simonetta, Graziella Vigo, and Maria Vittoria Alfonsi. Its honorable members included Giovan Battista Giorgini, Ferruccio Lanfranchi, Franco Rivetti, Gian Sandro Bassetti, Aldo Zegna, Ferruccio Ducrey Giordano, Paolo Faina, Emanuele Nasi, and Tommaso Notarangeli. The association broke up after a few years following the premature death of its founder and soul, Giuseppe Rasi.

Ungaro

Emanuel (1933). French designer born in Aix-en-Provence, the son of a tailor from Puglia who fled from the Fascist regime. He learned the trade from his father Cosimo “an exceptional man, who taught me intellectual rigor and honesty.” In 1955 he left the south of France for Paris in pursuit of his ambition to become a fashion designer. He worked at a dressmaker’s shop, then was fortunate enough to spend six years with Balenciaga, “my teacher.” Despite already having some experience he agreed to start out at the house as a beginner, in other words, somebody who sews linings and passes pins. At Balenciaga’s school he learnt that “a good couturier must be an architect in the design, a sculptor in the form, a painter in the color, and a musician in the harmony and philosophy.” Strengthened by this experience, he decided to set out on his own and with the help of Sonja Knapp, a textile designer and at that time his partner, he rented his first atelier in Avenue MacMahon. They raised the three months advance on the rent by selling Sonja’s Porsche. It was 1965 and Ungaro had already decided on his aesthetic philosophy: a baroque and sensual melange that appealed to great actresses like Catherine Deneuve and Anouk Aimée. In 1967 he moved into his base in Avenue Montaigne and found famous customers in Jackie Kennedy, Lee Radzwill, the Duchess of Windsor, Lauren Bacall, and Ira Fürstenberg. The appeal of his clothes was found in the use of color and mix of printed fabrics. He is the most painterly of the great designers, using the brightest range of colors. In 1971 he signed an important contract with GFT, the Italian clothing giant from Turin. Strict with himself and with others, and with a determined personality, he creates his clothes while listening to classical music and opera, preferring Rossini. Before each runway show he follows an almost superstitious rite. He asks the women of the family to prepare him a plate of meatballs in sauce, a typical dish from Puglia that reminds him of his childhood. He is married to the Italian Laura Bernabei. In 1996 Maison Ungaro joined the Ferragamo group.
&Quad;In 1999 the house won the top Spanish award La Aguja de Oro. In 2000 they launched a line of eyewear for men and women with Luxottica; a new line of swimwear called Ungaro Sun, a range of accessories called I love Ungaro and the new perfume Desnuda. In 2002 Ungaro received the T de Telva award. In 2003 he created Diane Kury’s costumes for the film Je Reste. His labels are currently Emanuel Ungaro Couture, Emanuel Ungaro Paris (ready-to-wear), Ungaro Fuchsia, and Ungaro Feve. The designers says of his recent work: “I love everything that sings. I love Débussy and Free Jazz, Paolo Uccello and Motherwell, Proust and Peter Handke, colors, Impressionism; I love the warmth of the South and the cold of the North. The couturier is born to be always one step ahead, to guess at desires. I should never speak out. My clothes speak for themselves.” (Maria Vittoria Alfonsi)
&Quad;Summer 2001. Ungaro denied the rumours of him being close to retirement and signed for another four years with Salvatore Ferragamo, the group that owns his fashion house.
&Quad;Ungaro participated in High Fashion Week Moscow, which hosted various high-calibre international designers.
&Quad;2002 was the year that he opened showrooms in the East: Moscow, Beijing, Shenzen Taipai, and Singapore now all have their own Ungaro boutiques.
&Quad;The Pugliese company Mafra acquired the license to produce and distribute Ungaro’s babywear ranges from Spring-Summer 2003. The company’s baby collection is dedicated to 0-2 year olds and 60% of the production is for girls.
&Quad;2003, February. Agreement with the Tuscan company Le Bonitas for the launch of two new collections: Ungaro Sun (women’s swimwear and beachwear) and Ungaro Moon (underwear, corsetry, and sportswear).
&Quad;2004, September. Emanuel Ungaro signed an agreement with the English group Marchpole to develop his menswear, and they appointed José Levi as artistic director of the men’s collection.
&Quad;2004, October. After seven years, Giambattista Valli quit as the house’s artistic director to dedicate himself to his own range, produced by Gilmar.
&Quad;2004, November. The new creative director is Vincent Darré. He arrived from Moschino where he was in charge of the creation and development of the top line.
&Quad;2005, January. Emanuel Ungaro returned to haute couture with a collection of about thirty outfits designed by Darré, which were supervised by Ungaro himself.
&Quad;2005, March. Darré’s first ready-to-wear collection made its debut on the runway. It stood out for the lack of floral patterns that have characterized the Ungaro style over the years, which were replaced by new more geometric designs.

Urbini

Alfonso (1910). Italian men’s tailor. From the region of Abruzzo, he started in the trade at the age of 12, working in the Bacchetta brothers’ workshop in Roseto. In 1924 he joined the Pescara tailor Pasquale Tritapepe as an apprentice, and went on to become his favorite pupil. In 1934 he followed a course in pattern cutting in Rome directed by Giovanni d’Adamo. A year later, he opened his own atelier in Pescara. In 1954 the magazine Arbiter named him as the best tailor. He retired in 1980.

Underpants

In the 1970s and 1980s, not that long ago, the man who wore traditional underpants was, in the eyes of young women, an unfashionable grand-daddy figure. Underpants eliminated the possibility of romantic encounters and snuffed out any possible passion with ironic looks and embarrassed giggles. At this time, briefs were the more popular — indeed essential — choice, available in every imaginable color and pattern. Then arrived the boxer short, the modern-day cross between underpants and shorts. They came striped, checked, tartan, in a range of colors, and coordinating, or deliberately clashing, with shirts and socks. Even though football star David Beckham’s g-string got us talking in 2003, boxer shorts have endured. They have had enormous success in replacing briefs, and have even been worn on top of tights by women, or shown off peeping above pants, the waists of which have, for both men and women, descended ever-further below the navel. For women, knickers have been replaced, first by slips and then thongs. Recently styles have been reminiscent of the 1930s, in black satin and transparent lace, also provocative in red satin, romantic pastel colors, or for Winter even in wool (if not pure cashmere) embroidered with flowers, fruit, and sparkling moons and suns. They have been revealed above jeans, shown off or glimpsed through transparent muslin or even slits in skirts, alternatively they have been worn as hot pants with high boots. They have acquired a new, almost brazen value, being no longer only a means of secret seduction, but an item of clothing to be seen, or partially seen. They have had a recent opportunity for revival thanks to some more “avant-garde” designers, influenced by the British, who have turned underwear into “outerwear,” although this trend has its roots, as always in the world of fashion, in historical dress.

Underwood

Patricia (1947). American milliner. Trained at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology in 1972. She received an award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1984. She started off creating hats for Lipp Homfeld from 1973 to 1975 (Hats by Lipp) but decided to open her own atelier in New York in 1976. Admired by the big American designers, she has worked for Ellis, Caroline Roehm, Donna Karan, De La Renta, Klein, and Bass. She achieved a reputation for her Twenties-style cloche hats and a very fine straw cowboy hat shown in 1991. She favors neutral colors and in 1994 presented a collection inspired by Modigliani. Her hats are sold at over 100 different outlets in the USA.
&Quad;The designer’s 25-year career has been studded with various trade awards, some of the most important being a Coty Award, an award from the CFDA for the American Accessories Achievement category, and a nomination from Fashion Group International as entrepreneur of the year.
&Quad;Her hats, made and finished by hand, are created with carefully selected materials and special techniques: for example, she uses horsehair, a plaited yarn once made from real horse hair but which is now produced synthetically in Switzerland, or Milan straw, a plait of natural straw originally supplied directly by Milan manufacturers and that now comes from the Far East.
&Quad;The 2003 collections confirmed Patricia Underwood’s style, with Winter pieces in Italian calf leather and Summer pieces in ultra-light transparent fibers.