Mercanteinfiera brings back the atmosphere of the 1920s through art, vintage and historical design
The partnership with Antico Antico proves a success, resulting in about a million clicks from around the world on Mercanteinfiera’s digital platform.
(Parma, 3 September)
Geometrical lines, low waistlines, garçonne haircuts, and sequins represent the essence of an attitude, that of the 1920s fashion to be explored by “The Golden Twenties. Life and fashion in the Années Folles decade”, the first collateral show scheduled at Mercanteinfiera, the Fiere di Parma event dedicated to antiques, design, modern vintage and vintage collectibles, running from 3 to 11 October. As well as period clothes from the Como Silk Museum, Clerici Tessuto and Ostinelli Seta, a wide range of vintage accessories will be on display, from ostrich feather fans to tiny clutches, from powder compacts to sautoir necklaces (plain ones, scarf-style or embellished with silk tassels) and very rare 78 rpm vinyl records and gramophones which, thanks to the Charleston and Foxtrot craze, had their heyday in that decade.
As will be shown by the over 70 items (Pav. 4) on display at the exhibition, the more original expressions of the Roaring Twenties were: shorter skirts, barely covering the knees, the boyish look in the style of Annemarie Schwarzenbach, the Swiss poet and photographer who embodied the androgynous style, and long, jangling sautoirs, or umbilical necklaces, as the poet D’Annunzio loved to call them to highlight their sensual closeness to women’s bodies. Women smoked, drank, danced (in the 1920s Josephine Baker shocked the world with her banana dance), thus conquering the first outposts of female emancipation.
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).
“To me The Golden Twenties is a symbol, rather than exhibition,” says Aquilini. “Just as the Spanish flu, which marked the last century, was followed by years of overwhelming vitality, I want to believe that the pandemic that hit us will be followed by a new Renaissance in the museum world as well. A world that I hope will be increasingly inclusive, open and close to diverse audiences. The collateral show we are taking to Parma is a tangible sign of our drive and energy.”
While the design sector offers more and more complete housing solutions and coordinated environments, the piece that is really sought after is the unique one, the one that breaks the uniformity of “total look” systems, the one that has a story to tell – whether old or vintage.
Unique pieces are the distinctive feature of Mercanteinfiera, a space where it is not unusual to find an unusual Brionvega radiophonograph next to a rare bronze necklace dating from the 9th century BC – all this not far from an eccentric glass table with gold leaves or from a very colourful Murano chandelier that can be found only in the D&G Capri boutique.
Then there is the range of modern antiques, or rather historical-auteur design pieces, that production of furniture and home furnishings from the period spanning the later postwar period to the 1980s which involves designers who are globally recognized as “masters”: Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Iosa Ghini, Joe Colombo and Vico Magistretti, just to mention a few.
Finally, the four pavilions of the exhibition will also display antique ivory and turtle coin collection cabinets, imposing neoclassical mirrors and 19th-century traditional Trapani vases. And more: secretaires, Baccarat crystals, liquor cabinets, jewellery and vintage fashion that have been charming the general public for years.
“We are ready to welcome our visitors again this year. We will do so in adherence to the strictest safety conditions, while at the same time offering the opportunity to enjoy beauty and creativity and find in these the impetus for a new, dynamic start” concluded Ilaria Dazzi, Brand Manager of Mercanteinfiera.
All the sanitisation and safety protocols put in place by the national Guidelines and AEFI, the Italian Association of the Italian Exhibition Industry, have been implemented for this event.
For those who love hunting for rarities through a simple click, Mercanteinfiera Teaser, an online platform set up in collaboration with Antico Antico, a Fiere di Parma partner since 2019, returns on September 10. This is how it works: after browsing through the best art pieces in preview mode and making a choice, from the comfort of your sofa, you can then go to the fair centre and straight to the relevant exhibitor to evaluate and purchase the object (www.mercanteinfiera.it).
This project puts the exhibition centre in Viale Esposizioni at the forefront of the digital world and allows it to benefit from an extraordinary reach, achieved through 900,000 clicks from users all over the world who followed the exhibition online throughout the pandemic.
The platform closes on October 11.