Before fast fashion, before the clothes people would throw away after a season or two, before the globalization of fashion and the crazy rhythm of the modern fashion industry there were clothes that were made to last a century. Carefully made and meticulously embroidered, they were works of art designed to add a touch of sparkle to their wearers' lives - from the everyday to the most important moments.
I was fortunate to have been given a private tour of the vast vintage clothes collection owned by the Fineschi, a prominent family of the Italian city of Prato. Some of these clothes date back to as early as the late 19th century and the craftsmanship and quality of these pieces is truly remarkable. But what's even more fascinating to me, a woman of the 21st century, is that these are real clothes that were once worn by real people to real events. Real ladies would put on those pearls, and hats, dab perfume on their necks, grab their bags and head out for a day out on the town. They would change into velvet, lace and feathers for dinner and drink champagne out of crystal glasses. They would come home and lay down on their hand-embroidered sheets that took hundreds of hours to make. They would dress their children in hand-embroidered little dresses and hats and pass them down to their children's children and their children after them. These clothes tell a family's history just as well, if not better, as any genealogical tree would.
Thank you to Mrs Ada Fineschi for showing me these treasures. And now let me show them to you.