Antonelli, Maria

Antonelli Maria (1903-1969). Italian haute-couture dressmaker. As a young girl she was fascinated by fashion and apprenticed at Battilocchi taylor shop.

Antonelli Maria (1903-1969). Italian haute-couture dressmaker, born in Siena. The daughter of an employee at the Quirinale, as a young girl she was fascinated by fashion and apprenticed at the dressmaker Battilocchi in Rome. She later went out on her own and by the early 1940’s had become famous. She was dressing stars of the Italian cinema who chose her dresses because of their originality. These included Clara Calamai, Alida Valli, and Mariella Lotti.

In 1947 she designed a wedding dress for the English actress Dawn Addams, who, to the jubilation of the illustrated magazines and the first paparazzi, married Prince Massimo. Bista Giorgini invited her to participate in the first Made in Italy fashion shows in Florence. She is considered a pioneer of Italian fashion.

Antonelli
One of Antonelli Maria’s creations.

In her atelier worked designers such as Pino Pascali, Elio Costanzi, Mario Vigolo, Chino Bert and, for evening dresses, a very young Pino Lancetti. At the end of the 1940s, the set and costume designer Giulio Coltellacci created for her a collection inspired by the colors of the roofs of Rome. Then in 1958 she launched a prêt-à-porter line under the name Antonelli Sport. The contribution of her collaborator André Laug was decisive. The Dinamica line, inspired by the world of technoloy, was created in 1963, followed by the Fuso and Optical lines.

When Laug quit to go out on his own, his place was taken by Silvano Malta, who designed a very successful retro line with pastel colors and draping fabrics. In 1969 Maria became ill and passed away shortly after. When she died her shop died with her.

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