PROFILE : Anna Piaggi

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Anna Piaggi, the Vogue Italia fashion contributor and style icon, was born in 1931 in Milan. Known for her exuberant and flamboyant fashion sense, she began her career in the Sixties as the editor of Italian women’s magazine Arianna, before going on to become editor at avant-garde publication Vanity in the Eighties. Aside from her penchant for blue hair and eccentric outfits (always accessorised with a walking cane), Piaggi was best known for her work with Vogue Italia. It was a collaboration that began in the Sixties and saw her inspire the fashion world with her innovative and intellectual double-page spreads.

Piaggi was born in Milan in 1931. She worked as a translator for an Italian publishing company Mondadori, then wrote for fashion magazines such as the Italian edition of Vogue and, in the 1980s, the avant-garde magazine Vanity. She was known especially for double page spreads in the Italian Vogue, where her artistic flair was given free expression in a montage of images and text, with layout by Luca Stoppini.

Since 1969, she used a bright red manual Olivetti Valentine typewriter for her work. Piaggi had a large clothes collection, including 2,865 dresses and 265 pairs of shoes, according to a 2006 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She dressed in an exuberant, unique and eclectic way, never appearing in the same outfit more than once in public. Such was her influence and knowledge in the fashion world, Manolo Blahnik dubbed her “The world’s last great authority on frocks”.[citation needed] Having collaborated with Vern Lambert from Chelsea Antique Market for many years.

Her associates in the fashion world included the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (from the 1970s), who has often sketched her, and Manolo Blahnik, who is the designer of many of her shoes. She was the muse of British milliner Stephen Jones. She was also an admirer of British clothes designer Vivienne Westwood and her hats, made by Prudence Millinery. She lived in New York and visited London and Italy periodically since the 1950s. Piaggi appeared in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York on the New York Times fashion and social photographer Bill Cunningham.

Anna Piaggi : 22 March 1931 – 7 August 2012

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PROFILE : Janie Bryant the talent behind Mad Men fashion

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Janie Bryant has made a name for herself in both Hollywood and fashion circles for her obsessive attention to detail and incredible eye as the costume designer for Mad Men. The newly married Bryant—who lives in Silver Lake with her husband, Peter—gets more acclaim for her pitch-perfect wardrobe magic with each passing season of AMC’s cult hit. “I always love the moment of seeing a character come to life—the transition that comes from the costume,” says Bryant of what motivates her each day. Her second Mad Men-inspired capsule collection for Banana Republic hits stores early this month, and the series’ fifth season started March 25 2014.

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