Large, passionate and disciplined. An audience of almost 40,000 visitors attended Mercanteinfiera Autumn
Ilaria Dazzi “This 39th edition was all about courage”
Parma, 12 October – This year Mercanteinfiera is more than the usual exhibition of art, antiquities, auteur design and vintage collectibles. It is a show of courage and discipline. The courage was for Fiere di Parma’s organisational machine to carry out in just one month all the activities that normally take four months to do. The discipline was on the part of the visitors who came to this 39th edition in large numbers, bringing their passions and wearing their “masks”. A surprisingly high attendance also by exhibitors who welcomed the almost 40,000 visitors – between dealers and mere enthusiasts – with the extraordinary quality of the items on show. A number of visitors not far from Mercanteinfiera’s attendance history (about 52 thousand entries for the 2019 autumn show).
“This edition demanded great efforts in terms of organisation, but team work and the determination to make it all possible without ever compromising safety, has made the show even more special – said Ilaria Dazzi Brand, Manager of Mercanteinfiera. To avoid queuing and waiting, we gave preference to online accreditation, while designated staff monitored the pavilions – adds Dazzi – to ensure that norms were respected and overcrowding prevented. Attendance data – concludes Dazzi – have shown that exhibitions, even at the time of Covid can go on”.
Throughout the pavilions of Mercanteinfiera, there were thousands of treasure hunters, collectors and curious visitors. Among the 800 exhibitors, there were rare items displayed, such as an ancient jade vessel, two 18th century obelisks in rosewood and ancient marble (worth 60 thousand euro), an Atlas from 1776 (worth 25 thousand euro), a travelling writing cabinet in tortoiseshell and mother of pearl by Pierre Gole (worth 60 thousand euro), an inlaid chest of drawers of the 17th century signed by ebonist Thomas Hache and four spiral-shaped lamps each made of 10,000 Swarovski crystals which shone on the dancers of the first edition of the show “Dancing with the Stars”. The price was not prohibitive, but the dimensions certainly were: 3m high.
Mercanteinfiera offered an archipelago of suggestions, from historical design by Gio Ponti, Gae Aulenti, Vico Magistretti, Romeo Rega, to vintage fashion (Chanel, Hermés, Versace, Louis Vuitton just to name a few brands) and jewellery: a triumph of claire de lune sapphire, cabochon brilliants, diamonds and emeralds like those of a tiny clutch of the thirties, all strictly in gold.
Mercanteinfiera has definitely become a reference point also for the international community. This was confirmed even in such a special year by the presence of buyers from France, Belgium, Britain, Turkey and even the United States, who arrived in our country after having undergone a number of safety protocols.
Among the many enthusiasts, there were also many connoisseurs of the fashion of the twenties, attracted by the collateral show “The Golden Twenties.” Life and fashion of the decade of Les Années Folles celebrating the over-the-top attitude of the roaring 1920s. Those were the years when Alfonsina Strada took part in the Tour of Italy (1924), Josephine Baker conquered the world with a 16-banana miniskirt, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Swiss poet and photographer, became a muse of androgynous style with her boyish look. A change of paradigm where jewellery plays a starring role together with shorter dresses. Showy, not costly, easy to change to match the mood, and especially affordable for women without having to resort to their husbands’ generosity.
The collateral show is curated by Paolo Aquilini, director of the Como Silk Museum, and by Clara Cappelletti, in collaboration with Fondazione Setificio, Associazione Ex Allievi del Setificio and with the contribution of Ostinelli Seta, Clerici Tessuto, Bianca Cappello (jewellery historian) and Samuele Magri (art historian).
Mercanteinfiera returns on Saturday 6 March 2021.