“È lei, uscita dalla copertina di un rotocalco…” (“That’s her, off the cover of a magazine…”) sang Fred Buscaglione in his 1959 song Sofisticata.
And for an ideal portrait of the Italian woman, look no further than the covers of the first women’s magazines, from the post-war period to the 1950s.
Italy defines its national imagery of femininity through the faces of the early divas and beauty queens celebrated in the pages of those magazines. That ideal image was first discovered, and immortalised forever, through the glorious curves of Lucia Bosè, Silvana Pampanini, Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren.
“La Dolce Vita”, the sweet life of an Italy which wants to reclaim its dreams, its fun and free time, starts right here. With their reports on beauty pageants, engagements and celebrity weddings, the magazines engraved a curvaceous aesthetic ideal in the collective imagination of Italy as it emerged reborn from the war years, an ideal that would fill the country’s romantic dreams and shape its faltering aspirations.
The nation’s sense of unity was bolstered by the birth of glamorous new destinations, and not just Via Veneto or Cinecittà in Rome. The magazine covers depicted voluptuous divas snapped by the paparazzi against the backdrop of Taormina, the Amalfi Coast or Venice, whose Festival became a key appointment on the social calendar.
And everyone felt that bit closer to Italy.
For Elena Miro’, those faces and curves represent the ideal of Italian womanhood. An ideal that’s not necessarily confined to a period in history.
That ideal is of a natural elegance combined with a bold vitality, and an iconic silhouette which evokes a dynamic, optimistic Italy: a country rolling up its sleeves as it looks to the future, its dreams intact.
Yesterday, today – more crucially than ever - and tomorrow.
These magazine covers conjure up a feminine ideal that is timeless and thus relevant today, one which Elena Miro’ is promoting with as much enthusiasm and conviction as ever. They remind us that those curves have been uniting the dreams of Italians for 150 years.